Reports from the Bunker

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Posts Tagged ‘death

My mother

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has been in the hospital for a week, she went in because she had been feeling weak and on Sunday last week she laid down, she stayed in bed until Thursday and didn’t eat or drink much. She has always been very able and independent, so no one checked on her and didn’t think much of it when she didn’t return calls. It was quickly determined that she had a large tumor in her colon and maybe something in her Liver. She has cancer. Yesterday, it was determined that it has in fact spread to her liver where it is ‘inoperable”  She is 77 years old and some of the opinions so far are bleak. The truth is that the biopsies are not back yet and we have not heard from the Oncologist (Cancer Dr.).  So, we wait.

The emotion of it all seems lodged deep inside of me and apparently, no ready to deal with it yet, I am yet to get it out. I can say a few things from a perspective of gratitude however, I am grateful that, unlike in the past, I am present and capable of being there for my Mom, for my oldest sister, whom along with myself have taken the bulk of the load in dealing with this. I am dealing with it properly at this point, feeling it, but not reacting like an alcoholic and just doing my best to be helpful and be there for my family.  My sister said today “I know I can rely on you (and Kim) and you will be there”.  This is new. That I have taken time off work and have been doting on my mother and making it to the hospital often, all of it new and I am so filled with gratitude to God(s) and AA and my wife, which is another story.

My, wife, my Mo Anam Cara, my sun, my moon and the stars in my sky. Kim has been there for me and my mother and sister every step of the way, staying home, leaving work early and when she is at the hospital, doing what she can to keep us all engaged and look after Mom. Alone, at home, she is supportive and attentive and loving. This is hard for her too, she has just really started getting close to my mother, she sees it hurting me and it also opens relatively fresh wounds about the loss of her own father.

Facing the potential loss of my mother to Cancer is hard, it brings into laser focus the reality of our mortality and I look at myself and around me, wondering “when”, when does it happen to the rest of us. Also, those things I am grateful for are another source of pain. I want lots more time with her, I am just beginning to be a real human being, to be a decent son and I want her to get to see more of that, to be a part of it.

The summary lesson here I suppose is, whenever I start taking people and relationships for granted, I need to remember that our existence here is fragile and we never have as much time with people as we think we do. If there is someone or someones out there that you love, don’t neglect that and don’t put off engaging with them because you might run the clock out long before you think.


Written by jamesjanus

June 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

and prayer and death

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4 years next month. I was reminded today of the final lines in A Prayer for Owen Meany:

When we held Owen Meany above our heads, when we passed him back and forth — so effortlessly — we believed that Owen weighed nothing at all. We did not realize that there were forces beyond our play. Now I know they were the forces that contributed to our illusion of Owen’s weightlessness: they were the forces we didn’t have the faith to feel, they were the forces we failed to believe in — and they were also lifting up Owen Meany, taking him out of our hands. O God — please give him back! I shall keep asking You.

and whether the sun is shining or the rain is pelting down upon my life, I think of you and so often I beg of God to give you back to us, to undo your mistake. Somewhere in the recesses of my heart I think to myself there must be a way. Meany was your favorite book, Vern is right, you knew you bastard, you knew what you were going to put us through.

Andrew and Rebecca’s anniversary is today, 3 years ago, the Caribbean wedding that you were absent for. Your sister gave birth to her second child, a baby boy, another one that you will never meet.  Your own child will be coming to visit us late this month, just a week before the anniversary of that horrible day. Every moment of consequence shared by us members of your tribe is diminished because we instinctively look to share it with you and you are gone and in this way and for this reason, the grief seems to go on endlessly.

The world gave your mother such a hard time for taking so long to emerge from her grief, my god those people don’t understand, I know it will never end for me and I will shed tears for you from now until I too am dead. I know that I cannot imagine what it must be like for your mother.

So much has happened, to, with and for me in the last few years, the same with Drew and Vern and your sister. though Drew might be hesitant to admit it, we miss you, I miss you and I hate that May and June are spent thinking so much about how much I miss you.

Written by jamesjanus

May 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm