So, I start my cleaning. As I make the list and am crossing things off I just keep getting angrier and angrier. I am mad about dishes. I am mad the kitchen is a mess. I am mad at the bathroom floor. Then it occurred to me ... it was safe. Well, to explain I'll give you an example. Horses have a response called a flight line. If something scares them, their response is to run. They will run so far then stop to see if the danger is still behind them.. to see if they are safe. Some horses may just jump, some it may be ten feet, for a hotter horse it may be a mile or ten miles. But somewhere or other the horse will stop and say,"Oh good, nothing is chasing me. I'll eat grass."
That was where I was at. Mac was safely back at school and I could finally have the moment to deal with the bad news. Finally, almost a year later. I have a flight line of sorts too. I don't break down during a catastrophe. I wait until I am clear and then I break down. So I recognized that I was going through the stages of grieving minus the ones that were no longer applicable, like denial, and playing lets make a deal with God. I was pretty much left with the rage and then later the resignation/grieving part.
I was just hitting grieving when I went to pick Mac up from school. Acquaintances had parked next to me. We chatted a little. Of course, it was about Mac, and then they said, "you're lucky you didn't have leukemia." What did that mean? I knew how it felt. It felt like I had just gotten slapped across the face. It felt like they had said I had RATHER it was you who had leukemia. Yes, if only just the worthless people would get leukemia and die! Maybe I am worthless now, but I haven't always been. I have an above average I.Q. , did all the crap that was suppose to mean something but it didn't, like "Who's Who Of American High School Students" and National Honor Society. I was the one whose high school counselor told them that their A.C.T. score was high enough that if I didn't go to college it would be a waste. He reiterated that I NEEDED to go to college. I didn't feel lucky when my Dad told me there was no money so I couldn't go to school. Despite that, I continued to send out applications and letters to request applications. Lucky me ... I didn't receive a response to any of them. But I was SMART. So surely someone would at least send me the application! Finally in desperation I sent an application to a community college. I should say my counselor sent it for me. And I had requested that the response also be sent to him. He wasn't happy about it. Mr. Good had taken me aside and told me that I had presence and verbal abilities and he had hoped I would choose to be a lawyer. At this point, I had been trying to apply for a year. I was losing faith. When visiting a four year college on a senior trip, the head of the art department had asked me to go there. He said he wanted to teach me. He had told me that he could spot them. The ones with the good sense of humor, the ones that could make it. Yes, lucky, lucky me ... I went to community college.... until I couldn't stand it any longer.
And when I got married and had kids, lucky me worked my butt off to make sure Mac got through school. Then his teaching job was such crap that it didn't make enough money to live on. So I continued working horrible jobs. I have done everything from foundry work to scrubbing toilets, and I did my best to make sure that the kids went to college. Since I couldn't go to school I tried to find information where ever it was to be had. I was a sponge. The engineer that wouldn't give me a permanent position with the Department of Transportation thought I did good work and that I had it in me to go to college and become an engineer myself. Lucky me... I'm so smart. I've gotten enough dings in the fender from the crud jobs I have worked that it really doesn't bear thinking about.
Lucky me, every time Mac was in the hospital I was with him for 24/7. I was sent away for several days once because I had gotten a cold sore. I was the one that twice ripped his breathing apparatus off his face when he was vomiting into the face mask as a result of the ICU Dr. having taken away his anti nausea drugs. I was the one that kept him from tearing out his picc line when he was reacting badly to one of his meds. I was the one that could get him to calm down and sleep when he was having hallucinations. I cleaned up more vomit, blood and , pardon me, shit then his nurses. Lucky me.
Lucky me that I didn't get leukemia. Like it was destined for my family and I was such a coward that I didn't man up and take the hit. I would have... If I had just known that's the way it worked. Of course, the school's insurance is such garbage that we can only afford to insure Mac. If I had gotten leukemia, I could be dead now, and Mac would have the life insurance money and be set up to marry a woman that would be his equal. Lucky me.
But now I'm in this other place, where my last surviving dream is dancing around me like a sparkling light. Just at my fingertips. Just out of reach. I can brush up against it but I can't grab it. I can't grab it yet. But I'm going to. I've worked so hard to keep Mac from dying and now, that's how hard I am going to work to make a life.
Oh and by the way, aren't we all so lucky we didn't join the navy and come home with monkey syphillus.