Tuesday, May 06, 2003

May Daze

Worrying, for no good reason, can just eat a person right up. And really, there is nothing to worry about. Life is complicated. Love is complicated. But all that really matters is whatever is happening RIGHT NOW. Not what happened yesterday, and not what you think might happen in five years, and not what would have happened if you'd stayed home from the party or applied to Harvard or failed to notice that your two year old was perched next to an open window on a fast-moving ferry 20 feet above the surface of the cold, grey, Atlantic in the middle of March. Worry is pointless. Being, living, breathing, accepting, delighting, suffering, playing, working...doing...is what matters. Why is it that this simple lesson is so far out of reach, so much of the time?

Here comes Mother's Day, and I'm thinking about my stepmother Polly who died two short years ago at the end of May. I'd like to get this month over with and just move on to June. Here's an excerpt from something I wrote about it:

Smooth and handsome Dr. Park, brain surgeon, meets us in a tiny room. We squeeze together to hear the news – it’s malignant. I watch as he describes the tumor as being like a starfish, a spider, extending it’s tendrils deep into her brain tissue, impossible to cleanly remove without removing precious brain. He splays his hand to demonstrate. It feels almost unkind, this gesture. I see in a flash how every new tumor is for him a chance to improve his skills, a chance to be a better doctor, a good thing. He talks about radiation, chemo, oncologists. Three to five years tops. This is what he tells us. We cry and eat our sandwiches and wander around the hospital, lost stars. Then she is in recovery and we come to see her, watch her fingers wander up to her scalp, touching the bare patches, feeling the bandages. It’s really only two more weeks to go. None of us knows this.

I miss her.

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