Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

What color would you say it was?

I got really, really sick last week. Sick like I haven’t been in a long time. Fortunately, I still have a little sick time left and was able to take that time off—paid—from work. Unfortunately, Brooke got it too, meaning that our weekend of babysitting Hannah was blown. She spent all of Saturday sleeping. I may have seen her for an hour. Then Sunday morning, Hannah decided at 2am that she wanted into our bed. At 4, she woke me up while she stared at the ceiling and practiced saying “No.” (I know I’m biased, but she’s got a great “No.”) As soon as she realized I was awake, it was all over.

We snuggled on the couch with a bottle and some Baby Shakespeare, and she fought falling asleep every step of the way. Every time she realized she was dozing off, she’d scream and flail and throw herself off the couch. God forbid she sleep at FOUR THIRTY IN THE MORNING.

Right. Anyway. Eventually she did. Eventually, I got more rest. Eventually, we had a good day and packed up and left, only to come home feeling crappier than when we left. By this point, I had snot coming out of my lungs and nose and it was green from both directions. Monday morning, I called the doctor. My afternoon appointment led to a trip to the Meijer pharmacy. I felt like ass. I was tired, dizzy, nauseated, snotty, headachy, etc., and I had to go home and think about dinner.

Rather than wait for the prescriptions at the pharmacy, I went to the frozen food section to peruse their selection of Junk. Junk is a many splendor thing. It’s cheap, quick, tasty, and not very good for you but will fill you up. When I feel like ass, I buy Junk. I traipsed through the frozen food--haphazardly shoving my cart, as I had managed to choose the wimpiest cart in the entire county—and picked up anything that looked good, including a couple of bags of frozen vegetables. Then, I spotted the Oberon. It’s in! I smiled weakly and picked up a six-pack.

Wandering back through the pharmacy, I picked up another six-pack, this time of Ensure. You see, that five pounds per month weight gain challenge I had made didn’t quite pan out. I gained five pounds from February to March but nothing in April. Since I’ve been sick, I’ve lost at least two. I need more healthy calories. Thus, Ensure.

I also noticed the greeting cards, and while thinking about what kinds of greeting cards we might be needing soon, I remembered that THAT DAY was my five year anniversary with Brooke! Okay, bought a card.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it’s true. A la Steve of One Good Thing fame, I bought my wife beer for a romantic occasion. (Only Leigh Anne’s was for Valentine’s Day. Mine was only for an anniversary that’s been subsumed by our wedding anniversary.) She really likes it though. And she didn’t get anything for me, so I guess I still come out ahead.


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