Tuesday, July 6, 2010

D Day Minus 196 (August 24, 2009): Just in Case

“Catch” I said, impressed you actually caught the bag of Skittles I just tossed outside your bedroom door. You sat half-reclined wearing your favorite gray hooded sweatshirt clutching the bag of Skittles like a hand warmer.  You had that little half smile like you did the first time I filled your Skittles prescription.  Remember how they fixed everything?  If you or Morgan got hurt, sad, or sick – it was Skittles to the rescue. Skittles couldn’t hurt. They could definitely help -- in any situation. And they were always good to have around - just in case.

“I saw them in the vending machine at work and thought you might need a little insurance – just in case.”  I trailed off, not saying “the chemo doesn’t work.”  But you knew what I meant.

“I’ll save them for later.” You knocked over your Burt’s Bees Chapstick when you put the Skittles on the nightstand. The Chapstick roll up underneath the bottom face of your digital clock.  It was 6:56. Before it was 6:57, you had the Chapstick upright. I thought of your clothes hung in your closet with all the hooks facing in towards the wall organized by color.  And all your hangers were white - not blue, or pink, or gray. Only white.  Everything had a place in your world.  I used to tease you being so anal.  But, now it only made me feel better.  At least it was something you could control.  And at least I could help control a little of your world.

You nestled your head on three or four pillows.  I talked a lot about nothing, but that wasn’t the point.  I wanted to be there just in case you needed some water, juice, the heat turned up, some pain meds, the remote control, or someone to talk to.  We both already knew how our day went because we talked throughout it. My meeting went well, but I ended up with a lot of actions.  Dad was working late. Katie was with you up until 5 or so because she had to work all night.  You said that watching you go through treatment was hard for Katie, but added, “she’s  a tough girl. I know she’s glad to be with me.” Only three of the patients started snoring during treatment. And only one was loud enough to be annoying.  I texted you a “BiZ” followed by an obscene acronymn at 5:13, just before I headed home.  I knew my shock and awe tactics would make you smile. You would shake your head because I was such a goof, then you’d delete the evidence.

'Mom, I’m cold.  Can you get me a blanket?” You said bracing yourself for the rollercoaster to come -- fever followed by chills; chills followed by fever; with variable peaks and valleys of both.  I picked your well-worn bedspread off the floor that you had kicked off earlier and put it over you.  Then, I went to the spare bedroom and brought back three more heavy blankets and put them underneath your bed.  I looked at you and said, “Just in case.”  But, you already knew what I meant.  

No comments:

Post a Comment