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Monday, March 7, 2011

Snappy the Clown

One of my friend's from graduate school and her boyfriend at the time (now husband) used to have this shtick where when one of them would say something biting, the other would say, "Well hello, Snappy the Clown." Or some variation of that theme. Today, I feel as if Snappy the Clown is my new identity. He doesn't always express himself but he is in there muttering snide comments about the most mundane of things. Lest anyone begin to fear that I have been possessed by the clown from Stephen King's "It", this is a little different. Mostly, because there is no clown and I don't live in Indiana or wherever it is that he always bases his novels. It is just that pesky second stage of grief, anger.

Jeff's boss is on him to be in the office in Knoxville. I know this is only the precursor to him insisting we move back. His indifference to my pain makes me want to fly through the sky and land on his head like I am the house and he is the witch in "Wizard of Oz." Or maybe I'm the tornado. Tonight, a very well-meaning mother from my drama class came up to ask if we still needed help with any of the things that I had sent out in an email the week before. There was a big part of me that felt pissed that she didn't even mention my parents. So I said, thinking maybe she didn't know, "I haven't gotten too much done since then because of the funerals." She nodded and said, "Well, I've been working a lot but can help with anything."

It was a very nice offer from a very generous person. I am certain with everything in my being that she is a kind individual who cares very much for the pain of others. But even knowing this intellectually, all I could stew about was that she hadn't offered condolences. I kept going over in my head that my mother and father have both died. My poor sister is carrying the brunt of the class right now because I am also mad that I even started the class. I would never abandon the kids who have been working hard but I hate the optimism that allowed me to think that a class that lasted nine weeks was a good idea. Who knew that it would be in that exact nine weeks that pancreatic cancer would rip my mother away and that my father's Alzheimer's would rapidly hit the final stage where he could no longer swallow? Who does that happen to? Well, it turns out it happens to me, my sisters, and everyone else who loved both mom and dad.

Jeff is still struggling with illness. He has now been to the doctor three times and thinks he may have fluid in his lungs. However, I did not go to the doctor with him and he seems to be unable to explain what the diagnosis was. The doctor gave him an antibiotic and an inhaler with the instructions to return in a week if his cough doesn't improve. So now I am mad at her for not being more clear. Is he a new asthmatic? I'm irritated with him for not asking more questions. And truthfully, I want to roll my eyes each time he has what is probably a very uncomfortable coughing fit. My daughter asked me if her Dad was going to die tonight which made me mad at him again. She shouldn't have to worry about whether he is going to pull through this one or follow after her grandparents. So when I got home and he was asleep on the couch I hissed at him, "She thinks you might die so try to pull it together." At which point, he rolled off the couch and went through a very dramatic dying scene that I might have found amusing at any other time but just made me want to kick him. To my credit, I didn't. Jeff is a wonderful and loving husband but I think he is beginning to feel he can't do anything right. A feeling that I am not doing much to remedy.

Hello, second stage, I hope you don't hang around too long. I'm not liking this side of myself much.

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