Weight of Whispers

Mom stopped being stubborn Sunday. Monday, she started getting really confused when the pain management doctor had been at the house for awhile. After he left, I went outside for a break -- to call and see if the prescriptions were filled. When I came in, she was very upset; she seemed convinced that I was responsible for some plot that she could not quite articulate:

What did you do to Carey? You're going to do it, all of you, and I'm going to die in the middle. You have your nose in the middle of everything. You think I don't know, but I hear, bits and pieces, enough, not enough, not enough money, it's all about money, but there is no money...makes the world go round...the world...turns... 


She can turn from being scared and angry to naively happy, weaving in the middle of her waking dreams enough bits and pieces she hears from insane shit the family has been doing and saying with not enough stuff from dreams.

Not even in my dreams -- I don't get to see her much anymore, not the real her. If she's not asleep, she's exhausted. I haven't heard her much lately either. Her voice is weak, too, too weak. Though I'm with her always, I haven't seen or heard her in a few days. My perception is a bit off though.

It seems like I just came to Indiana a few days ago but left California a few years ago. I wish I had come home a few years ago. So much has happened and too little. It has happened to me that I am so much like Mom; she doesn't ask for help, and Mom is stubborn, wasn't she?

Terrified at the realization that Mom is not being stubborn anymore, I started to feel as if we two were keeping a secret, locked up tight in a jar of bloody urine, sealed up tight in a biohazard bag, tied for extra security with hair that was once thick, now thin, and too much... hair everywhere, and blood. We never talked about it. She told me while cancer was stealing her modesty, in glances once bright, light green, now dulled by the cancer, in caresses from once plump, warm hands withered by chemo. She tells everyone "I'm fine" in a voice that was once never too far from chuckles that were stolen by actual diagnoses by oncologists, in a voice that now is always too far. But, she told me, and she told me not to tell, not even myself: if you say it, it will be real; real things can be so heavy they break you, but secrets are light, light enough for us to fight our way through.

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