We walk silently along, silence but for the snow crunching under our boots..lost in our own thoughts, I wonder what hers are, reflect upon mine. I feel selfish, listening to my own head, feeling restless, my time here, for her. In between my own thoughts I wonder what she thinks, weak, she follows in my tracks, strong, but I can not walk in her shoes. I don’t ask her what she feels or thinks, it seems a ridiculous question these days.
I came here for her and for me, because I love her, surprised to be struggling with such restlessness, wandering about at the hospital, rifling through the card rack, waiting. A cancer card, everything is cancer here. People with cancer, people who love people with cancer and fear of cancer. Picking up the card I walk to the register, turn back around and put the card on the rack. I can’t seem to commit to this though I have traveled 8,000 miles for this. Reading the card, again and again, putting it back on the rack, picking it up again, I consider taking a picture of it. It is $5.00, a lot for a card but what price can there be on these things..thinking it will make her laugh. I know this is what she needs, finally putting the card back for the last time and buying a banana instead, she likes those and the expectation is reduced.
She is post op. I am unsure of how to handle this. I ask her if she wants to talk. I think about her breast, where is it now? I ask friends that are doctors, what happens, no one can quite seem to answer my question, I ask the nurses, I feel silly, they tell me nothing special. I have a need to find what is now missing, a part of her, I want it back, put the pieces back together. Such an integral part of womanhood, she, my cousin, seems nonplussed by the loss but she can’t be..can she? She has bigger things to think about, though the mystery weighs heavily on me, a distraction, on her weighs whether they were able to remove it all, when radiation starts and will she survive this.
In between is another friend, he wants to kill himself, daily almost he sends texts and messages, looking at her, sleeping, lying in this bed, he should have this I think, she should have his health-how is it so? He wants to die, but fights to stay, she fights to live, there is no choice, maybe it is the same battle. I want his health for her.
I realize I am wasting these days, struggling to stop, I meditate, practice yoga, finally waking up one day knowing there is a heart change..determined to enjoy each moment there is, we walk silently on, the snow crunching, she takes a picture of my tree pose, we walk to Beaver Lake, spotting the heron on the opposite shore, she sits, tiring easily these days..I look back at her, take a picture, not ever wanting these to be my last memories, my heart full of love, there are no words, we don’t need to speak, I don’t need to do, these bitter, cold and beautiful moments, like the mountain air we breathe, are what have carved our love for each other. I should have bought the card.