Topic: The saddest birthday......
Today is my 54th birthday and the saddest I've ever had. Birthdays have always been a big deal in our family and as long as I can remember my birthdays have ALWAYS started with the song "Happy Birthday" being sung to me by my parents.
When I left their house to go to college, it was always sung to me over the phone. Throughout my married life the phone always rang before I left to go to work.
Today I got up and waited....no phone call. My husband didn't mention it knowing that I was disappointed. It's such a silly thing but I did really miss it this morning. I decided not to be sad since once again I would be on the road to come to Mom and Dad's house tonight.
I got a phone call in the car on the way to Greensboro from my sister. She wished me happy birthday and told me she was getting ready to leave Mom and Dad's and wouldn't be here when I arrived. I got choked up in the car and cried and told her how much I missed that birthday call. She was trying not to cry and managed to get out of the house before Mom asked what was wrong. Her youngest son (He's married and just found out they will be parents in November) was born on my birthday and she said he didn't get his call either and was sad and upset. There we were...two sisters united in our grief and crying like lost children over a silly song.
When I got to Greensboro, Daddy said it had been a good and bad day. Mom and he were able to go for a walk and sit in the sun out on the porch for a long time. This afternoon he said she seemed to get angry and said she was going to take a shower by herself. When he tried to help she really gave him a hard time. She managed to get in the shower with him hovering near enough to steady her if she needed it. She got dressed by herself (which Daddy said seemed to take an eternity) and got angry when he tried to help.
I had been home about 25 minutes and Daddy was relating the day's events when all of a sudden we heard a noise and both jumped up. Daddy headed to the bedroom (Mom had been sound asleep when I peeked in on her when I arrived) and I headed to the living room. Mom was standing there totally confused. At first she was perplexed, then angry, then paranoid then all of a sudden she was sitting on the couch weeping.
She said she knew she was confused earlier and was heartbroken she had been angry at my Daddy. She then broke down and cried and wept. She said over and over she didn't want to be sick. She didn't know why she had gotten this cancer and didn't want to upset our lives. She was upset because she was supposed to be taking care of us not the other way around. Daddy and I sat on the couch on either side of her and held her and told her we didn't understand cancer either. She told Daddy she didn't want to leave him and he assured her he didn't want her to. He then held her and told her they were fortunate in that they knew exactly where they were going when their time came. He reminded her that they promised that whichever one got to heaven first would be waiting on the other.
It's now after midnight and my birthday is over. No phone call, no song, just the knowledge that the woman I love and admire the most in the world is rapidly slipping away from us.
At 54 I know I should be acting like the grown woman my mother raised, secure in my faith and aware that death is a part of life and that this coming separation will only be temporary. But I'm not. I sitting here pouring out my grief and rage to the only handful of people in the whole wide world who not only understand but walk and have walked this awful journey with me.
I'll sign off now and in honor of my mother I'll sing the birthday song to myself before I fall asleep.
Thanks for always being there....I know you understand...
"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is. Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.