Your mom, she said, her favorite part about yesterday, was that she got spend the whole day with you.
And that was the point where I couldn’t stop myself from crying.
It’s not even the beginning of the story. It’s not even close to the end.
I don’t normally like to talk about stuff with my mom. I feel like I’ve sufficiently covered the topic elsewhere, I suppose, but the topic is ongoing, so there’s always room for more. It comes more from, sometimes I don’t want to cover that topic. Because this particular topic means more to me than anything else.
It’s a sequel of sorts, I suppose, as I’ve titled it, because I once again, found myself in the Emergency Room of University Hospital, in East Denver. The major difference being, this was the middle of the day, and not the middle of the night. Maybe middle of the day isn’t exactly right, maybe the entire period of daylight is better.
Things were different. This wasn’t the same carefree hospital visits of yore. This was an older, but probably not wiser, Kevin, an exhausted Kevin, a world weary Kevin, beaten down by years of end to end hospital visits. Someone who a little over a month ago made the decision, the ridiculously tough decision, to make things easier and safer, to prevent this type of situation from happening, someone who whithin that same month also watched his closest and best friend move away…
So, I sat. And I waited. Blankly staring into space, a space cluttered with sliding glass doors, floating computers and incessently beeping machinery. Trying to answer question after repeated question. Trying to conceal anger, close to boiling over, and at the same time, trying to maintain a sense of, well of caring… Because after so long, and so much, the state of my mind was…unsure.
Optimism isn’t the easiest thing to maintain, or maybe it is. Or maybe I’m just kidding myself. Lately it’s difficult to know or differentiate. Also Difficult is my ability to empathize or care about, well, anything really. The pressing and depressing and apathetic and just… exhasting.
I find myself struggling with this, each word, each sentence, harder than the last. That sentence is too depressing, that sentence isn’t powerful enough, that sentence is too sad, there’s too many elpsis. So on and on.
Writing is supoosed to be cathartic, or so I’m told. I probably wasn’t told this, It’s more likely I read it somewhere, or someone said it, or I heard another better writer say it or it’s just something I think I made up but really it’s a giant quote on the back of a dvd box set or something.
I hoped that through the writing of this I’d end up with something, with an exit, a way out of the bleakness and sadness..
It’s all up to me, in that case, often times I rely too heavily on the subconcious aspect of writing, and don’t give my up front writing enough credit. If I want to be more optimistic or hopeful, I simply need to be more optimistic and hopeful.
That’s the way these things are supposed to work, right?
As of right now, it isn’t very warm. I’m sitting outside a.. I guess the word would be, funky, coffee shop. I’m in a strange town. I’m miles away from home, and the two hardest parts of my day have yet to begin. The biggest challenge I have, for the next ten minutes, is to decide if I should attempt a conversation with the attractive woman in the polka dot dress, or if I should simply leave.
I left this where it was, I’ve been attempting to finish it, add on to it. But.. Things prevented me from continuing.
I’d love to say that my life was changed by my chance encounter with the polka dot dress girl, who I should add, had adorable thigh high socks, and was basically just adorable overall. But that’s not how it ended up. I did have a conversation with her, I don’t know if I ever got a name, or anything like that, but honestly, until I saw this half written whatever this is, and well, all things considerd,
felt it was time to go back to it.
Instead I find myself trying to write where I am now. Where I am, here, in life and her in life. If that makes any sense. There’s a distinction between the two. I guess. The past few weeks have been filled with more of the same. The same as it’s always been. The same routine with my mom as always. As it has been for the past 20-something years. This time things are different. Long gone are the days of the visits to the doctor followed by lunch in the hospital cafe. As are the days of the in and out visits to the er, where everything was fixed in a night. No, now the place I find myself in is the same familiar setting, under the fluorescent lights, amidst the sea of beeping odditites, except this time..this time it’s different. This time there is no quick fix or easy answer, this time there is no lunch in the fancy cafe. This time is the last time we get to do this.
As I said, for as long as I could remember it was the routine of my mom and I. Go to the doctor, spend quality time together. Eventually that changed, eventually the visits became harder more complex, more frequent. Now as I sit here, I no longer feel the pain or the unkowing. I no longer have to worry if something is seriously wrong, because I know the answer. If I was someone who could remember the stages of grief, I’ve probably gone through them. Now, I’m in the numb stage.
The room is silent compared to normal. The hum of machines is absent. The television is no longer showing the endless loop of Lifetime movies that are all so similar that I don’t know if I’m just watching the same one on repeat or if it’s a series of the same ones on repeat. My joke, Look mom, because this is a Lifetime movie, there’s no atonement with the father, it’s atonement with the mother, falls to no reply. I realize how what I said was fairly… close to home.
I’ve come to a point, where I don’t know what to do, I don’t know when to leave, I don’t know when it’s time, what the balance is. I’ve been doing this for so long, I don’t know how to not do this. People begin to remind me to do things like eat and sleep. My best friend, in town for completely unrelated reasons, selflessly gives up a day. My two longest, oldest best friends three-way call at the exact moment they’re needed. And another best friend literally works at the hospital. My family is also here, all of them, well, not all of them, but a significant portion of them, at least the largest number of them that I’ve seen fit in one room before. The emotions are high and strong and sincere.
I’ve witnessed my mom overcome a great deal of hardships over the years, most of them unfair to someone who has already had much pain in one life time. I’ve always watched her get up and keep trying, every time, no matter what. Until now. For whatever reason, this time is different than all those other times.
I’ve always admired my mom and looked up to her, and her strength and her courage to keep going, and to never give up. And it shouldn’t be a surpise, but it was, and it wasn’t, to learn that so many of my best friends and close friends and ex-girlfriends also felt the same thing.
But now it’s time for me to do the hard thing (and when I say the hard thing, I mean for right now, the real hardest parts are still yet to come), the hard thing for me right now, is allowing myself to let go, and go home and sleep.