That phrase seems to best describe all three of us this weekend…
Beth is frightened. Beth has been very sick and the changes in her from last weekend are startling and frightening. She is thinner and gaunt. She is weaker. Her skin is translucent. There is a sense of fragility as though merely touching her with my clumsy hands will break her. Beth has always had a BIG presence and now she seems smaller. There is urgency in Beth’s actions – a need to push to finish things. There are presents to send, postcards and letters to write. She has a need to do what she can to make sure Linda is taken care of. The universe is unfair, Beth is frightened and she is fragile.
Linda is frightened. She can’t stop the degeneration Beth’s illness causes. She can’t pretend that there will be a happy ever after and that she and her love will grow old together. So Linda throws herself into things she can control. She rearranges the living room furniture. She focuses on feeding us. She makes lists of what to do and prioritizes them. She makes a master list of the lists. Hers are the actions of someone trying to keep the fear at bay. She is trying to be strong, to be the anchor and yet she is wounded as well. The universe is unfair, Linda is frightened and she is fragile.
I am frightened. The changes in Beth from week to week are no longer subtle. I stay up much too late during the week reading medical journals on line and looking for anything we can do to improve Beth’s quality of life and her quantity of life. I wish I could take an extended leave of absence to be here more. I count the weeks before my workload eases enough for me to be granted more leave. I hate the 18 miles of water that puts limits on how readily I can get to Victoria if/when needed. I hate the uncompassionate and apathetic healthcare Beth receives. I hate the lack of wealth that keeps us from seeking medical help in other places. I am trying to be strong, to be someone Beth and Linda can lean on. Yet my emotions are so near the surface. The more I try to control them and keep them in, the more they break through. I am frightened and it makes me snappy. I am frightened and it makes me sad. I am frightened and it makes me hurt. I am frightened and I cry.
The universe is unfair, I am frightened and I am fragile.