Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home alone in the thunderstorm...

Today, my friend and her five teenagers left to go home. Goodness, the house seems empty. And quiet. I really miss the hubbub. I tried, twice, to upload pictures, but flipping blogger is making me crazy. I can't even comment on Cara's blog anymore.

Today, I went to my class, like always, and we watched a play. "Wit". It was about a woman dying of cancer. The loss of her hair. Her attempts to keep her own fear at bay with her sardonic wit. When she reported to the hospital with chills and shaking, I thought, 'neutropenia', in a sort of third person sort of way. The story went on, and I continued to recognize small moments. There are some things which are common to all of us, I suppose, and then suddenly, she was dying, and it was graphic, and she was afraid, and it was as if I were watching my own worst fears played out for the class to see. It was exhausting keeping my own emotions to myself, and when the movie was blessedly over, I went to the restroom, and was exhausted in privacy.

It's been a hard time. An acquaintance died last month, and her husband wants to talk about her last days. Changing her diapers. Her realization in the night that she was dying. Hospice. I listen because it seems the kind thing to do for his sake, but I don't want to know these things. I don't want to hear these stories.

Ann discovered yesterday that she is metatastic. I read, and I'm shaken by her news.

I don't know why I am affected by these things, but I am, and I feel ridiculous. I sit and listen to the thunder and the rain outside and I feel sapped. Just tired. So I am going to curl up on the sofa and finish "Into the Wild" for my class. And if I fall asleep, this will not be a bad thing.


Bob said...

I loved Into the Wild when I read it years ago. Krakauer (sp) is a great writer and what a compelling story.

You can't help but be affected by stories such as the ones you describe. You listen because you are compassionate, even though it hurts to listen.

BUSH BABE said...

Darlin'... you are hardly ridiculous - you are pretty bloody normal. To be honest, I am not sure you should have sat through that play - far too close to home. And your friend's husband must be very deep in shock to think you are the right person to share those final memories with.

Sometimes you need to just take care of yourself. Bob is right - you are compassionate and strong. Sometimes it's fine to be strong, and sometimes it is okay to protect yourself a little more.


Mary Paddock said...

I hope "Into the Wild" gives you some sense of escape. It is not hard to understand why these things affect you, when your own personal specter is never far away. And as Ann is your friend, it is additionally difficult.

Anonymous said...

Bush Babe is right! Look out for Debby a little more! Love you. JUdy

A Novel Woman said...

I saw WIT years ago and it shook ME to my core. You should have excused yourself from watching.

And there is nothing wrong with telling your friend's husband you can't talk about her illness. Nothing. He would understand. Suggest he share those details with someone else who hasn't gone through treatment or maybe his pastor.

I remember talking with a friend in a restaurant about a third friend's serious illness when the woman at the next table leaned over and said, in a very direct way, "Could you please talk about something else. I can overhear your conversation and I have cancer and this is supposed to be a fun day out with my daughter. I don't want to hear this right now!" Now on the one hand, it was kind of unreasonable to ask someone in a restaurant to shut up, however politely. But we did. And I actually thought "Well, good for you for asking for what you want!" I wish I had the guts to do that more often.

It's not weakness, not "ridiculous" to ask for what you need in order to have peace in your life. You should do it more often.

Anonymous said...

Had I known what I was in for, I probably would have simply excused myself from the class,sent an e-mail to the teacher. However, I did not have a clue what it was about, and by the time that I realized where it was going, I was embarrassed to get up and leave the class and have to explain, possibly have people thinking I was a drama queen. So I just sat there, and by the end, I was very carefully not looking at the screen, although the words were very direct, and there was no way to close them out. I don't talk about cancer, but the girl next to me is in my OT class. She said, "That must have been very hard for you to sit through." I said, "Yes," and embarrassed myself by getting all teary eyed.

Mrs. Spit said...

I am sorry for the world weary. This is several hard things all at once.

It is a gift to receive someone's rememberances of their loved one's last days. Some years later I can sit with bereaved parents and hear what they have to say, knowing I am one of the very few places they can speak those words.

It has taken a long time to get that place. It is not something I could have done early on. It's not a thing to be ashamed of, to need some space, to conserve your strength for your own burdens.

Kelly said...

Well, you've really had a time of it. I'm sorry. (((hugs)))

...and it doesn't help that Blogger has been a real booger lately.

A Novel Woman said...

You have no control over whether people will think you're a drama queen (you're not, by the way, and I very much doubt that they would think that) but regardless, you need to do what's right for you and forget about what other people might or might not think. Do what's good for you. Always. It's hard at first, but it gets easier with practice.

Bill of Wasilla said...

There is no way that you could not be affected. I still believe, despite all the many failures, that yours is going to be among the ever-growing number of success stories.

I could not read "Into the Wild." I was so disgusted with the whole thing. I saw the movie, though - and I loved it. Not as retelling of actual events but as a fable, a great fable about the myth and pysche of America.

And when the movie began and I saw my home on the screen, looking every bit the way I know it, I damn near cried, because I had often seen my home portrayed in movies, but not like that - not looking like it actually looks in common, everyday, mundane moments.