08 May 2013
Two weeks later, like a surplus reprieve
I found a hair the length of yours on my sleeve
I wound it round and round my finger so tight
It turned to purple and a pulse formed inside
And I knew the beat cause it matched your own beat
I still remember it from our chest to chest and feet to feet
The easy silence then was a sweet relief to this hush
Of ovens, aeroplanes and of distant car horns
A fire, a fire
You can only take what you can carry
A pulse, your pulse
It's the only thing I can remember
This is from If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It by my most favorite band, Snow Patrol. In moments of sadness I like to amplify my feelings by listening to songs of lost love and regret, and Gary Lightbody never disappoints. Oh sure, they also sing happy songs but lately it's all tear-fodder for me.
Since we last visited, Five spent four days in the hospital while the doctors ruled out any underlying medical causes for his behavior, which at the time included delusions of visiting another world populated entirely by his worst fears. CT scan, EEG, and MRI later confirmed it was just the result of extreme anxiety. We're treating with new medication and he and I spend A LOT of time talking, talking, talking.
A week after Five was discharged Two developed a dull ache in his abdomen which became increasingly painful during the school day. I put him to bed in the afternoon and woke him later to compare his symptoms with the Mayo Clinic printout on appendicitis.
"Okay, Two, I'm going to palpate your torso now and don't be manly about it. Let me know if you're in pain."
His clenched jaw and fists confirmed my suspicions. When I went upstairs to tell the Captain, Two texted "hey lets go to the ER cuz this really kinda hurts." He shares my looks but not my verbosity.
The Captain took him to the hospital and they spent a fun-filled night in a curtained cubicle as Two drifted in and out of morphine-altered consciousness and the Captain did not. Blood was drawn, pictures were taken, and the following morning the surgeon removed Two's appendix.
Two went back to school Monday and Three stayed home sick. I had my two most needy, self-absorbed children with me all day and it didn't go well. On the loving patience spectrum I was at the opposite end of Mother Theresa, which is still better than Mommy Dearest, but not exactly empathetic or selfless.
Here's the thing: I get what Gary's saying. I've been in a fire for the last year, shedding everything I can't carry. By October my only focus was my mother and since February it's been Five. Plus, I still have to keep four other boys alive, in school, and at their various commitments. Forget about things like housekeeping, exercise, or eating right. (The chocolate covered almonds try to hide when I open the pantry. They know their days are numbered.) My life is a series of abandoned projects and messy rooms. I am worn down to my core.
I don't even want to talk about the fanciful dream of writing.
"You'll get back to it. You'll finish," my friends say. I don't necessarily believe that anymore. My focus is so narrow, my will so diminished, I'm thinking of tossing the pages in the fire. But I'm afraid to incinerate the last shred of the independent me, the part that wants success away from motherhood. The part that is very cranky right now.
Maybe that's a good sign.
A pulse, my pulse.