I knew she was feeling better when she sweetly suggested I put a sign outside her door telling the priest making rounds to Fuck Off.
I howled laughing.
You have to understand, this is a woman who didn’t give herself permission to curse in front of me until I was about 40 years old. I still find her use of the word “fuck” entirely surprising and therefore absolutely hilarious.
She doesn’t have anything against priests, per se. After all, one of her favorite people was her cousin, Shawn, a Catholic priest. I think it’s just that…well, sometimes grief brings people closer to God, their faith, their church…and sometimes it simply makes people say, “WTF?! Screw you for letting this happen.”
At the moment, Mom finds herself in the latter camp.
Within eight months she lost the man she’d loved since she was fifteen years old, and found out she has stage 3 breast cancer.
Personally, I think WTF is a perfectly justified reaction.
So when the priest was lurking in the hall outside her hospital room, where she had ended up after some complications of chemotherapy, it really was in his best interest to steer him clear of room 223. (I told him she was resting, because…well, I like to keep my options open, I guess).
This is where I tell you Mom is fine. Well, she’s okay – as good as can be expected. She will be discharged today.
It was scary seeing her so sick….sick enough for a drive to the ER at 4am.
Seeing her looking so small and vulnerable in the hospital bed, I was thinking about the time I spiked a high fever…the highest fever I can remember. My first daughter was only a month old. I didn’t know what to do. My husband was out of town. I felt too sick to care for my own baby. I was worried that the very milk she needed to sustain her would make her sick.
I called my mother at 5am.
I need you.
Mom rushed over, and she took care of Beau, and she took care of me.
There was no discussion about it.
It just was.
These past few days I felt a flipping of roles as mother became daughter, daughter became mother….
She took care of me, I’ll take care of her.
There is no discussion about it.
It just is.
She is such a fighter. I feel a bit in awe of her. This morning when I arrived with coffee, she was up, showered, dressed and ready to go…
Unfortunately they decided she needed to have a blood transfusion before they would release her. “Well Mom,” I said, “I think you’re going to have to put the Johnny back on.”
(She really didn’t do it, you guys.)