It is 12:51 pm on Friday Feb 2. The next 12 hours or so are the one year anniversary of the last time she could try to tell herself everything would be ok. Its leukemia. And he was not yet two years old. Now he is not yet three and they have been fighting this battle a year.The drs reports say he is going to be ok. She doesnt actually believe this i dont think. I dont think she will ever believe this again. I want to tell you about her. She doesnt read my blog although she is a Best Friend. Why? Because I never told her about it because Im terrified its insulting to have her exposed to my whiny self indulgent complaints when she is facing this every day. She was always part of my tribe, it seems. She is a beautiful neurotic mess who would break laws with me in dark cars and alleys and who could invariably make us both laugh hard enough we could pee ourselves in any given situation. I married far away but she was one of my first phone calls to spring the surprise….I was in her wedding. In fact we all jumped on her wedding bed together after the reception. She was there when Norm was born. Actually she was the first non-parent/non-professional to hold him and we both laughed nervously because she is the kind of friend you didnt have to convince you had any more idea than she did about this little alien helpless creature. And then I was there when owie was born. I met him before he was named. And then when the turnip popped into the world with his huge scary chaos those first few days, she was one of the few people who got to see him before they shipped us away for a week. When she came back to hold him a few weeks later, Owie got his first black eye on our coffee table.
I remember the night. Technically it was the third. I remember she sent us all the email at 1am, i cant remember if i read it that night or the next morning but i remember i had tracked her down and was at the hospital that next afternoon. It was snowing and raining and we smoked her cigarette outside while i struggled to find the right things to say. What i love about her is that we knew each other well that she could shoot down all my cliches without sarcasm or resentment or annoyance. And we both realized there was no way this didnt suck. We told ourselves all the things like the drs say its the best kind of cancer. It would be a rough road but eventually he would recover and live a normal life. And then we started to realize that this wasnt happening to someone else. This was happening to us. And our Best Friend Kathleen was pissed. She lost her daughter three days after birth six years ago and was really angry because she thought this should have protected Moe. Because she took it on the chin for all of us. And you know what? I think we all kind of thought that too. It just didnt make sense. The next two weeks of hospital was kind of a blur. It was extremely intense and i forced myself in there every day not for them but for me. I needed to be there. I needed to bring stupidity gifts like chocolate and trashy magazines and she made it normal for us by cracking jokes and making it a day by day thing so it wasnt so big. And it made it hurt less if i was there because she still made me laugh til i wanted to pee. I can count at least three times she did that those weeks. Then chemo started and they disappeared behind closed doors to protect from the germs. And we wait and watch and worry and when we see her we hug her as hard as we can and try to create some sort of healing love power to make this right.
Ive cried a lot this week. For Her and and for Trixie who had to defy all mom instincts and let her child go someplace really scarey. And then I cried some more with a patient’s mom over the powerlessness we have to protect them (no worries Madame F. It was a contained empathic cry. No racking sobs from me. I like to think of it as more of a therapeutic intervention than a cry. Like the opposite of tough love…its creamPUFF love) And I cried for Ash because it never should have been that way for her because she is so damn amazing. And for Best Friend Gret who is childless biologically but is petrified because she cant protect her little person from the little person’s mother who Gret tried so hard to protect for the past 25 years. Maybe its going to be ok though? Because we can keep laughing and loving and hoping and crying together. And because i cant look at a world where its not going to be ok. Not today.