I had a bad dream. You died…everything I knew vanished. I looked down, and the copper colored weights in my hand suddenly disappeared. The ones I brought up from the basement to work out with at Grandmom’s house. Chuck got rid of everything. Just like the letters under her bed she had kept…everything disappeared. Gone.
Except that it’s not really a dream. It’s happening. You’re dying and this will soon enough be my reality…the one I halfway pretend won’t be happening.
I can’t call you when I feel like crying. Because I don’t want to upset you. You’re already scared. And the cancer in your lung is growing larger every week. Causing more pain. Now you’re going from percoset to morphine. But I am crying.
When I walk into your room to wake you, it scares me. You’ve lost so much weight, your skin is stretched loosely over your skeleton. With your mouth gaping open in slumber, you already look dead when you’re asleep. I’m so scared you won’t wake up. I dread that day.
I don’t want to be alone. You’re all I have left. For all your faults. Your Aspergers. For all your issues…you have ALWAYS taken care of me. Done the best you can. This, I know. I have seen it. You STILL take care of me, even when it’s you who needs taking care of.
I will be an orphan. They say ‘you can always go home’…but you can’t. Not if it doesn’t exist any longer. Not if someone else is living in it. And you’re in the only stable home I’ve ever known…which will be sold by the other family members the minute you pass away. The blue carpets. The overstuffed furniture. My bedroom I’ve taken refuge in since I can remember. The damp basement full of treasures and books. The huge glass window with it’s peaceful view of the green woods.
This will all be gone. My birthday will come around and no one will care. There will be no funny card with a cute animal on it in coming in the mail.
I hate the chemotherapy for stealing all that is you. You aren’t YOU anymore because of it. I am grateful to the chemotherapy for giving me a little more time with you to repair our complicated relationship.
I feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for you. I just feel so damn sorry.
I love you. I need you. You’re my mom, and all I have.
I told you not to smoke. Goddamn it. Why didn’t you listen?