Friday, June 08, 2007

Bless her heart

Momma's cancer is still in some strange miraculous remission. It has been easier in the past to be finished with her treatments and move back into life with "Momma without cancer." Now, there is this part of me that refuses to rest. A sentry on the look out for bad news.

Last week, I received two voicemails while I was in my yoga class. The first was my friend who had lost her baby. The second was from Momma. Momma's message was that she had some news she needed to share with me and would I please call her.

I have to admit, I called my Momma first. The sentries of bad news were on alert. I was afraid. I dialed the phone and held my breath waiting for the word cancer.

When she answered the phone, there was a lilt in her voice that didn't say cancer at all. I waded through the small talk trying to discern if she was masking, or if she really wasn't going to give me news of a relapse.

Finally after we determined that every other family member was fine - yes, Guy had a new job - no, we don't know when he starts - yes, Lovely is ready for her summer break - no, I'll be teaching throughout the summer - Finally she says, "Well, I did something dumb."

Since I know that she wouldn't consider getting cancer again "dumb," I started to breathe again and asked what she had done.

As it turns out, Momma was feeding Bro's dogs while he and his family were on a much deserved vacation. She twisted her left foot on the stairs, breaking a bone in it, fell down the rest of the stairs and broke her right ankle.

Momma is in the bed with a boot on her left foot and a cast on her right leg. She is to put no weight on either foot. She went back to the doctor today, but I haven't heard anything yet.

I asked her if she thought she might be ready to hire some help now. She needs someone to help her do some cooking and cleaning and to help her watch Daddy. She said, "Maybe."

Maybe is much further than we have come before. She still hasn't done it, but she did say maybe.

Bless her heart. She's been laid out by chemotherapy. She's been in a coma. Now she's been sent to bed with two broken bones on both legs. And she might think about getting some help now.

I talked to Daddy yesterday. When I asked how he was holding up, he said that he was tired. I'll bet he is. He is used to just putting around when he feels like it, taking naps throughout the day, and having Momma take care of him. As it tends to do with these two, the tide has shifted again though, leaving him to be the caretaker.

One day I know I'll look back and this will all make sense. For now though, I have to wonder why the universe is just playing ping pong with my parents' health. I have to wonder why the situation can't stabilize long enough for them to have a routine.

True to Momma's spirit though. The biggest complaint she had was that she hadn't had a decent pedicure since she moved to Tennessee. Now, not only are her feet black and blue, but her toenails just look awful and it will be that much longer before she can get them fixed.

The women in my family have their priorities straight. That's for damn sure.