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Saturday, January 29, 2011

falling short of the goal

Each day for just a moment when I wake up, there is the possibility of a great day. Sometimes that possibility lasts only as long as it takes to wake the children, other times it extends until the first crisis. What I've discovered is the longer Mom's cancer eats at her, the smaller the event has to be for me to term it a crisis. This is taking a toll on my parenting and my marriage. I've always considered myself an easy-breezy kind of gal. But I'm afraid I'm not fun anymore. Everything seems to come back to Mom's illness. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to just inerject it into random conversations. So far, I'm resisting the impulse but it's there. It looms so large in my life now that I think it ought to be obvious by looking at me. A visible token like Hester Prynne's scarlet A or Pigpin's dirt cloud (very different examples from the literary spectrum, I realize). Then every once in awhile, I let myself forget.

Today, at the kids' basketball games was one of those times. I talked to Mom at the beginning of my son's game and she said she still felt dizzy. I offered to pick her up but she said she just wanted to stay home so I didn't think much more about it. It was loud in there and my girl did so well. My oldest sister came to see her game. But when I got out of the gym, I saw my mother had tried to call me seven times and I hadn't even checked my phone. There were no messages. When I tried to call her apartment, the answering machine picked up.

Turns out, they were delivering Dad's furniture to the Lantern and she needed someone to be there to meet the truck but wasn't able to get a hold of me or my sisters. When I did talk to her, the first thing she said was, "I'm glad I wasn't dying since I couldn't reach any of you." I didn't even know how to respond. It felt like she threw an anvil at my head and it landed square on my shoulders to carry around for the rest of the day. I'm sure she didn't intend to be so heavy in her comment. No doubt she had felt that way. I can't imagine how alone she must feel in all this. I'm doing the best I can. I hate it when I feel I fall short.  

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