Monday, June 16, 2008
There are Those Days...
when you wake up in the morning, guzzle a quick cuppa, down your vitamins, shower and brush, paint your face and then you put on the shortest skirt, lowest neckline, dangliest earrings and highest heels that the corporate world allows. You leave your hair wild & crazy, squeeze some mousse through the damp strands and rush out the door. Donning your Jackie O glasses that make you feel like a movie star, you put the top down on your red convertible, turn up your favorite music and drive a bit faster than you normally would, throwing caution to the wind and taking chances that you might attract the attention of the local po-po and find yourself with a big ol' speeding ticket. You zip off to work, humming along, seemingly happy and carefree on this summer morning.
You do this because you know that this will surely be the highest point of your day, that it will definitely go downhill from here. You know that in a few short hours you'll be sitting in a sterile doctor's office with your ailing mother and terrified father, listening to words that you dreaded hearing, never thought you'd ever hear, certainly not at this stage in your life. You sit there, trying to smile, crossing and uncrossing your legs, pen poised above notepad, prepared to ask the all-important questions: "How bad is it?" "How long has she had it?" "How far has it spread?" "Where do we go from here?" and then..before you can ask the question that you hadn't even dared to utter, the doctor turns to you and says, "Will she die from this, I'm sure that's what you want to know, right?" And you gulp and feel the tears well up and the room is silent and you're afraid to even look at your mother who is of course the "she" that he's referring to...and then he says,"possibly, probably, but we don't know when." Then the kind doctor who doesn't pull any punches tells her that it's up to her now, that she can't give up, that she has to be strong..and then, I quote, "You have got to quit FUCKING SMOKING."
And there you have it..you gather up your things, shake the doctor's hand and leave with a pile of lab reports, phone numbers and a lone prescription that hopefully will alleviate some of the discomfort she is already feeling. You meet your children for lunch, guzzle a chardonnay, keep it light, force some laughter and try to ignore the giant elephant in the middle of the restaurant: CANCER.
You say goodbye to your family, jump back into your shiny red convertible and ignoring the fact that the sky is filled with black clouds and rain is eminent, you put down the top, hike up your skirt and sing at the top of your lungs while tears stream down behind those big black sunglasses. Because this is what you do...despite the horror of it all or perhaps because of it...you LIVE. That's all we can do, each and every damned day - JUST LIVE.