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Balloons of nothingness, I guess

May 15, 2012

Mother’s Day past. And for the first time I didn’t think about my mother because I didn’t pay attention to the day. My Mom died from cancer. She smoked a ridiculous amount of cigarettes and didn’t go to a doctor until he body fell apart and her poor heart’s rate went beyond comprehension. I had told her many times about quitting smoking and she ignored me, even though I had once had cancer myself. I was told she was dying by my Dad. I left California and went to the hospice. She was lying in bed. Her hair flat, Her face drawn. She was in a coma. I fell apart. And she was still the most beautiful woman in the world to me. She had her faults but there was no way I would ever criticize her now–or ever, really. And I dropped to my knees and cried and thanked her for all the things she did for me–all the birthday and Christmas presents, the meals she cooked, all the rides she gave me. There was so much she gave me. And when I left the hospice and got back to my parent’s condo, the phone from the hospice rang and said she was going. My Dad, and sisters, and my brother and myself hurried back, and she was gone. She waited for me. Before Mother’s Day hit me harder, so did the holidays, all that was before.

ANd here I am today, scheduled for a testicle lop-off. But first a pre-op conversation on Friday, followed by the operation in a couple days. The large tumor shrunken into a scar-tissue mass around a major artery that leads to my leg. It would be a complicated vascular surgery to remove it and clamp the artery, which could lead to possible complications of nerve damage to the leg or the loss of the leg. So they want me to wait six weeks to see if the tumor gets smaller, but if it gets larger, there will be an operation, or chemo again, or radiation. And how much can a person take? I’m trying to get stronger to recover from the operation. I played golf yesterday, very badly, but I thought some of the walking and hitting the ball would work the muscles back into shape. And the guy I was with got mad because he mishit the ball and roared, “Damn it.” And I kept thinking, what a great leisure to take it that seriously. Everything is just rolling off me. I didn’t take a score, it was higher than I played when I was healthy, and my abilities had degraded. Being out of shape from being sick for five months is different than just being out of shape.

I want this thing to let me go. And where will I go when it does? So much is rolling off me. Bills. Doctor’s expertise. But I keep drilling down in myself, sometimes feeling the tumor is a time bomb, sometimes I feeling a strength against it. Before all I had to deal with in life was rejection, and that rolls over me too, beads up like mercury. But the emptiness? Well all I can do is blow it up like a balloon, let it go, and watch it flap away from me into the flat limpness of nothingness. And all I can do is dance to the music I love and inflate myself above the emptiness. Whatever is making everything roll off me is a core of strength, the spark that was gone from my mother on that bed, but she was strong enough to wait for me and knew I was coming.

I listen to Midnight Oil and my feet stomp and a force rises in my chest and tears form in my eyes as my lips quiver  and I nod as they sing, ” We carry in our hearts the true country, and that cannot be stolen. We follow in the steps of  our ancestry and that cannot be broken.”

Emptiness does not move. It has no beat. And it waits for no one.To some they view you and say,”just think good thoughts,” and the doctors have their recommendations. But none of them are carrying the emptiness. And so they roll off or roll on. And I spit out the taste of a shit sandwich.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Linda Walton permalink
    May 16, 2012 6:38 am

    Hi Fred….I love that Midnight Oil song, too. I love all their songs, now that I think
    about it. I have a great DVD of them at the store. When can you come by for
    a visit? Looking forward to seeing you soon. Hello to Laurie.

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