So this morning as I eat my breakfast cereal, I’m thinking about gestations. Those times in your life where you’re going through a process (you may not even realize it at the time), or completing a journey, or waiting for something to be finished so you can move on to the next step. I thought I’d had one, starting in Dec. 2011 when I took the “red pill” (actually, it was pink) and started my personal journey down the rabbit hole. It ended (I hoped) in January of 2014, newly divorced, hopefully healthier, mojo recaptured, new house new friends new lease on life. Done. Dusted. Hurrah!! Right?
Well, now I’m sitting in another of life’s waiting rooms, listening to the clock tick; breathing in the acrid scent of cold coffee and waiting for someone to come to the door and let everything start again.
And as I’m waiting, I’m pondering the gestational periods, the waiting times, we go through in life. How they define us, shape our goals and our thoughts and our emotions. How some are so well known and others belong to those who are In The Know, In The Club. There’s 40 weeks, that’s a baby. 16 years before you get your coveted driver’s license. 12 years to graduate from high school.
2 weeks for a biopsy. 1 of those left to go right now. 7 days. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. And in the meantime, I feel like my heart is raw hamburger in my chest. My tear ducts are spring-loaded. I am an agony of sadness and steely control, punctuated by surprising moments of delirious forgetfulness; but at the back of it all, the bitter aftertaste: 7 more days. And then, in the words of the doctor, we’ll do what we have to do.
Such hard, utilitarian words, each word falling to the ground like a stone. I felt like looking down to make sure the floor tiles hadn’t actually cracked. We’ll do what we have to do. There is hope in those words, but also a sentence in them, beyond appeal. The decision has been made at a higher court. Now we can only wait until that decision is handed down.
I am usually an optimistic person, but the birth of hope is beyond me at the moment for some reason. I can only sit, and wait, and pray.
(Perhaps this is when I should be reading JRR Tolkien, with his overarching themes of hope beyond hopelessness, love beyond despair, and the glory of the human spirit. I don’t mean watching the movies; for all that LotR were good movies, in this moment I need “Drink Entire, against the madness of the crowds”. I need Tolkien unblemished. I need the plaintiveness and pureness of his language, calling my soul back from this dark, strange place. I need his immaculate weavings of starlight and the awe-inspiring beauty that can come from pain and noble sacrifice, all underlain with the simple things that make life at once worthwhile and accessible… Hobbitty things like a good supper and singing regrettable songs with friends. I think people sometimes imagine Tolkien admired Elves the most. I think Tolkien’s true “children” were the Hobbits. Good food, a good chair by the fire, and a good scratch of your back while in a nice, hot bath.)
Postscript: Sigh. :} I think too damn much. I know I wouldn’t be so gummed up about this whole thing if my mother – the biopsy is hers – hadn’t lost hope herself. We’re going to do this thing. God, more utilitarian, awful words. Words in starched nurses’ aprons. I think I’ll stop now. No wonder I’ve gained ten pounds over Christmas break. snort.
For my original entry about my mom’s condition, look here towards the middle.