Ever since THIS went up, I have been trying to think of what to say. Because that’s me up there. The green socks. The one everyone is banding together to help. Ironically, I am still trying to succinctly say what I want to say about THIS THING and now I am struggling with expressing my gratitude for a new gesture. For a writer, I am doing a piss poor job of explaining myself.
It isn’t helping that the last week or so has been a tricky one. I’m fighting my own mood more often than not. More so than the actual cancer patient, so you go ahead and try to figure that one out. He’s keeping his head up and his back straight and his mindset good. I am slouching and flailing and floundering along behind him.
More than once in my life, I’ve dreamt of sinkholes. They scare me for some reason. Nothing puts the hair on the back of my neck up faster than seeing news of some humongous sinkhole somewhere swallowing up…everything.
Not too long ago, maybe a year or so ago, I dreamt of one and while out with the man on a walk with the fat wiener I said, “I dreamt of a sinkhole last night. It freaked me out.”
He stopped where he was, looked at me funny and said, “Last night?”
“Me too,” he said. “But I had totally forgotten until you just said that.”
That’s what cancer feels like. A sinkhole. Opening up from out of nowhere and gulping shit down. Safety. Security. Peace. Happiness. Normality. Sanity.
Gulp, gulp, gulp.
Worse yet think of those disaster movies where someone is standing on seemingly solid ground and then gulp. Gone. They fall away into the nothing. And the person nearby starts running, and as they run the ground starts to drop away and they may…or may not make it to a place of safety. With sinkholes there is very little to hold on to.
It isn’t helping that a small sinkhole has opened in our neighborhood. I pass it every day as I walk or run (when I say run I mean to imply stumbling forward blindly with great intent, not actual graceful running). It freaks me out when I pass it because I wonder what would happen if that piece of sidewalk were just to buckle and swallow me down.
What is my fucking point? I have no idea! Actually, I do. I’m kidding. As best as I can today. LOL.
What I can say is this cancer thing is unnerving. Very much like what I described above. Buffy lovers might remember the from beneath you, it devours episodes. And much like those, we’re not dealing, in this family, with something that can be felled by a wooden stake or fire or iron or any of the things we have been told by lore will save us should the unnatural—the unthinkable—happen. This one can only be felled by something almost as bad as the villain. Chemo to the cancer. Toxins to the mutations.
And you don’t know if it’s working. You have to wait. And wonder. And struggle to find something to hold onto.
That’s where you come in. That’s where the amazing and clever Alison Tyler comes in helping right out of the gate when we were still reeling from the news. And then Bronwyn Green riding in on her magical gypsy pony (this is my mental image of her) with all her smiles and love and goodness. And all of you who have donated time or stories or goods or money (or even paused to think good things for us). You are that thing we reach out and hold on to. The goodness and the beautiful intentions, the help and the affection. It’s something to cling to.
Like I said before, for a writer, I am doing a piss poor job of expressing my (our) gratitude. But then I realize that sometimes things, gestures, help…it’s too big to be covered by anything but the simplest words.
And because I can’t seem to help myself with the adding of things to simple things (just ask my editors) I’ll put:
It means more than you can ever possibly know.
Sommer and family