#3 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Daily night demons

Sunday, 6th of July, 2014

Everything is slowly falling back into its rightful place. Although it still hurts and freaks me out whenever lung cancer is mentioned or thought about, I experienced today better than yesterday and Friday. I still worry about the future, obviously, but it’s not as breathtakingly painful as the days before. We’re searching for a new routine in the household (which reminds me, the laundry’s done and I forgot to hang it up for drying, yikes!) and we’re getting there.

This afternoon was spent sitting next to my mum while she was resting. It’s an image that’s slowly becoming a daily habit. I’m reading while she sleeps and our cat sleeps in between her and my dad while he’s watching television, or at least, he’s pretending to watch because I see him stare and think, and worry. We did this for two hours and then I left to meet up with my friend N.O.

I told her about my mum yesterday. Very painful process on the phone involving tears on both sides but I’m glad I saw her today. We walked around in the garden of a nearby castle while the rain poured down upon our umbrellas. It was soothing and joyful and helped me to forget about everything for a while (photo of the shelter we found).

In the mean time, I’m getting annoyed with my brother. We haven’t heard of him all weekend (besides the one text last night asking how I was doing). It’s working on my nerves. Is it too much to ask to come and visit our mum with his family and take off her mind from cancer? It’s hurting her. I see it. She visited my aunt M. (same one I mentioned yesterday) and talked about his absence. The way she got upset and dizzy and had problems with breathing, upsets me. She’s supposed to rest and relax. Not get stressed about her son not visiting her or a daughter-in-law not even taking the time to call or text or whatever to ask how she’s doing. Nothing. All I can do is hold my mum tight and say: “I know. I know.”

When we returned home, my mum was tired. It’s definitely becoming a constant too. I can’t help but panic every time she says she is. It scares me. I don’t know her as a tired person. She’s always busy. I immediately went into overdrive: taking care of dinner, doing the dishes, cleaning up our dressing room, etc. to make it easier for her and so she could rest quicker.

I’ve just come back from checking up on her, something I’ve done since Friday, and she was still awake (it’s 1.30am now). She heard me while I thought she was asleep.

“Can’t you sleep?” My mum asks.

“No, I’m not sleepy yet,” I answer and sit down at her feet. “Have you slept?”

“Not really. I fall asleep but I’m awake again after ten minutes. Dark thoughts.”

Her words break my heart. What can I say? How can I make this easier? I don’t even know how to deal with my own dark thoughts let alone hers.

Instead, I bend over her and rest my head on her hip. My hand sneaks toward hers and I hold one, slowly circling with my thumb against the back of her hand. She does the same. We both know I don’t know what to say but words aren’t needed at this point. I know she just needs me to be there with her.

“It pains me to see your father worry,” she whispers and I hear tears in her voice. What do I say to this? I don’t know but not saying anything feels wrong.

“I know it’s hard,” I reply. “It’s hard for him but to be fair, it’s also hard on me. I’m not saying it’s harder but at least, he could try and make things easier for you. Him moping around isn’t helping you. It upsets you and I don’t want you to be upset because of us.”

Because I have been trying to have a normal day today. Not necessarily ignoring what’s going on, but not dwelling on it either. It is what it is and we’ll have to take this one step at a time. I keep reminding myself not to think of the ‘what ifs’ but focus on the moment of the day. And obviously, the night brings back our demons and I can’t stop her from thinking like this, but at least my dad can try to keep from worrying so openly in front of her. It’s not doing her any good. He can have his worries, and he is of course allowed to share them, just like I do, but share them and move on. Don’t stare at walls. Don’t lock yourself up but live! Smile. I know it’s hard but he could try.

“I want you to go to London,” she suddenly says. “But at the same time I want you here with me.”

I stare at Louis (the cat) who’s just settled himself on a pillow and is closing his eyes.

“I’m sorry for being so childish,” she sighs when I don’t reply.

So her okay was definitely a stay.

“That’s okay,” I answer. “I know.”

But my okay means: “I don’t know what to do and it’s tearing me apart.”

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