Saturday, July 10, 2010

D Day Minus 194 (August 26, 2009): A Whole Lot of Nothing

“Nothing.”  Is what you said when I asked what you and Dad talked about this morning during chemo.  I called as soon as I got out of my meeting around noon.  I knew you were in good hands with Dad.  But, I worried about you two clashing because that is what you did.  I was the self-proclaimed mediator much to yours and Dad’s chagrin.  I’d been on the receiving end enough times where neither one of you lived up to the other's expectations.  Actually you both were a lot a like.  So I could understand how the wires got crossed or your versions of right could be skewed.  Frankly, I expected some drama.  I couldn’t help it.  Blame it on the Rainman in me or maybe it was habit.  You worried Dad was too busy. And Dad worried that he wasn’t doing enough. Dad was up to his eyeballs in work and juggling Grandma Jones's affairs and my secret meltdowns.  You were just trying to get through it. All I knew is that neither of you really wanted to be tied up for the day getting treatment.  So now you know why I was not satisfied with your "Nothing."

“Nothing?” I asked, hoping for some enlightenment.

“Nothing.” You said, stifling a yawn. “Dad just went to Panera’s to get lunch.” You paused for a second. “I think the Atavan kicking in.”

“Didn’t you talk about work or food or anything?”  I wished you and Dad could talk like we did.  Over the course of your life and especially since you were diagnosed– we’d talk about nearly everything from the meaning of life and relationships to trivial things like Brian Regan’s comedy skits, John and Kate’s breakup, and who was cuter – Giada de Laurentiis or Rachel Ray.  I didn’t want either of you to waste any time.

 “Maybe a little.”  You said. 

“So you just sat and stared at each other.” I teased, maybe with a little edge in my voice. 

 “He mostly played with his iTouch.  He couldn’t connect to the Hospital wifi.   It's ok. I didn’t sleep well last night so I kept dozing off. ” You said. 

You were tired and the IV monitor started beeping so I let you go.  Then I called Dad, who was almost to Panera's and essentially got the same report, you talked about "Nothing."

After I hung up with Dad.  I thought a lot about nothing.  I thought about nothing and little else for the rest of the day.  "Why did you and Dad talk about nothing?  Didn’t you nearly dying knock any sense into either of you? Don’t you know how precious time is?  Why don’t you say what is on your mind?  Why don't you guys make plans? Don't you know how much you both love each other? " These questions loomed in the background through my next two meetings.  It was a good thing I took notes, because I don't remember what was said. And I was supposed to write up the summaries.  Needless to say nothing was taking up a lot of my brain power. 

On my way home, I started letting go of my baggage of expectations of  you two.  By the time I was on the Fairfax County Parkway, I realized the action of being there spoke louder than any words. And nothing was something.  In fact, some of my best times with you came from nothing - no expectations- just being there in the moment. Nothing was going on when you told me how much I taught you.  Nothing was going on when we played air band and I had lead vocals.  Nothing was going on when you told me how much you loved me.  Nothing was really a lot something. The nothing between Dad and you belonged to Dad and you.  And it was none of my business.  Bottom line, I was worried about nothing.  

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