Those battles we’re supposed to have lost.



She is a giant among women, breasts heavy, full, rounded, uneven.  Her shoulders carry the burden of healing old wounds, patching up cells that disobey orders,  attending to blood that cannot run clean.

Her shaken form is a salute to life itself but it is not of the life she left. Remission robs, recklessly, and in its retreat leaves barriers to ward off tenacious and happy endings. She looks no further than the day. She cannot see beyond one minute more. She must master the moment, one foot plodding in front of the other, and walk through the forest of stillness cursing damned death. .

The mind tells stories to lull us to sleep. But, vigilant, we watch you creep up into the clearing. These meadows are re-planted with wildflowers. Don’t you see them? There’s thistle with cactus, dormant but growing.  Something strong always rises from weary roots, withered and grey.

Talking in the riddles of sunshine she stretches full force, sips on the wicked fall air. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of the web. September 19, 2017




Pfft. She did all the fighting. Not me.

I did not live in those moments. I lived through them.

I was not the patient. I had no right to sympathy. I took the easiest route.  I powered through. Ignored the pain and realities. And was strong for every one else.

It is what we do.

It is called mothering.

Even today, 1.5 years into remission, into Her remission, we are reluctant to feel the strain, the pain. We did nothing really.

We may have hurt our children, more.

We let them pick and poke and prod.
We told Her to let them pick and poke and prod.

We put on a happy face.
We told her to put on a happy face.

We woke in the night, held a feverish head, supported an emaciated body as she walked to the toilet in the night.

We let the nurses move her, turn her, time her, palpitate her abdomen, press her wrist, adjust her lines.

We mothered, more.

We faked patience, feigned indifference to another delay of release.

We colored easter eggs in hospital gowns with vinegar the custodian brought up from his cleaning closet.

We made excursions in wheelchairs and raced it down hallways and up hills and over terrain that was not supposed to be traversed by wheels.

We welcomed resident doctors, and nurses in training and repetitive inspections of heart, and lung and bowels. We laughed at fledgling bedside manners.

When we could, we participated in study drugs, research protocols, tests on our own child, to further the treatments; simply to save another child this pain and ridiculousness.

We were stronger than we knew we had to be. We were fakers. We faked it full-on, with blatant disregard for truth, we lied, outright and straight-forward and with conviction.

We were heartbroken takers of a moment of peace,  of a minute of pain-free time.

We cheered for CBC results, we rejoiced at nutraphil increases, we celebrated the beating back of gram negative rods in her gut.

We made joyful noise with hugs and knowing glances. We laughed at the repetitive day to day of the hospital bed.

“How are you? Can we get you anything?”  Yes. You can fucking get my kid healthy and out of this damn, sterile unit.  What? That is what you were offering?

You asked. Jeezuz. You fucking asked my kid. Stop. Have mercy. Just stop. 

#for Reticent Mental Property. Images courtesy of life.