I plop down in a chair, engulfed and hidden deep within the folds of my husbands ginormous, full length down coat which I’ve hijacked this winter. I’m always cold, my thyroid wreaks havoc on my internal thermostat.
I pull out my cellphone read my emails and begin playing BookWorm, my newest app obsession. My full attention is directed at making words, 3 letters or more and to keep the burning letters from blowing up my game. I’m trying to beat my high score of over 200,000.
The email read that his beautiful wife passed this morning, leaving four children and a heart broken husband behind.
I’m at the doctors office to have a rash looked at. A souvenir brought back from the North Carolina blog conference I went to over the past weekend. It’s funky looking and spreading. So I decided to bring it over to my doctor and have her check out what I smuggled over on the plane.
The phone call. A dear friend of my fathers died of cancer this morning. Leaving behind 2 adopted children and a heart broken husband.
“Melissa?” I look up from my game and thoughts and I stare, not sure if I really heard my name. “Melissa?”
I stand up and walk toward the nurse who is leaning against the door that separates the waiting room from the examination rooms.
“Yep, here.” I say. I walk toward her and wrap the coat tightly around me.
Two more strong, incredible, beautiful women taken by that bitch, cancer.
She smiles and moves aside so I can pass through the doors.
“Let’s get your weight.”
“Let’s pass.” I say.
She smiles again and stands patiently by the doctor scale. “You can leave your belongings on the chair there.” She points to a small chair that will surely buckle under the weight of my coat.
Six kids in one day, motherless.
“I’m here for a RASH.” I hold my coat tighter around me. “A RASH.” I say, a little louder.
“Yes, I know.” Smile. Blinks.
I sigh. I don’t want to step there, on that scale.
It appears I have no choice, she isn’t going to set me up in a room until she has what she needs from me.
My number. Isn’t that what life is all about? A freaking series of numbers. Stats.
LIFE IS SO UNFAIR
So. I shed.
I put my coat, my sweater and my top layer shirt on the chair. I take off my shoes. And I take a deep breath.
I step on the scale.
The weights go up.
My weight. Went up.
She indicates that I should re-bundle and follow her.
So I do.
I swallow. Hard.
I blink back tears.
My kids still have their mother. We are lucky. SO lucky.
I mumble something to the nurse about my damn thyroid and ask quietly why they even needed my weight, I just have a stupid rash.
She ignores me, leads me to a room and invites me in.
So many women over the past year. So many.
The funky rash no longer matters.
They must have been so sad. So scared.
I’m close to my highest pregnancy weight now.
THIRTY POUNDS SINCE AUGUST.
SIXTY FIVE POUNDS SINCE THIS STARTED.
I don’t care about the rash. Let it take over.
All I care about is the fact that I’m no longer me.
I’m stuck in a body that has lost control over itself.
I should be so grateful. It’s just my thyroid. And a damn rash.
I sink into the little chair in the examination room, wrapped in my layers.
They fought gallantly, with dignity.
Wrapped in self-pity and self-loathing, I wait for my doctor.
So young. They were my age. I barely knew them but I will remember them.
Emotions take over and I begin sobbing, using almost the entire box of kleenex that is in the room.
I cry for my shallow vanity.
I cry for all the angels in heaven that left their angels here on earth.
The doctor walks in and raises an eyebrow at the state she finds me in.
“It’s just a rash” she says reassuringly, “And the rest, we’ll get sorted out. Don’t worry, you are going to be fine.”
It’s just a rash, I think. And yes, I’m going to be fine.
I will be fine.
I mourn for all those lost who leave families that will never be truly fine again.
I only came to see the doctor for my rash.
What a way to get news, huh? That kind of event sort of rocks you to your core and throws off your perspective on things.
So sad. Feels wrong that a kiddo should outlive their parent.
Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says
Beautifully written, honey. <3
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Simply put, that was beautiful.
Okay that is making me cry – and I am right there with you. ()
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Gena Morris says
That kind of news makes you realize your own mortality. Something no one wants to embrace.
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Beautiful. You wove the story beautifully and gave me cold-chills.
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Colleen - Mommy Always Wins says
Sometimes the weight of life just gets to you…you can’t always anticipate when or where that dam will burst, but hopefully the cry left you feeling better…
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Melisa (PH) says
I am crying too: this is one of your most beautifully written posts ever.
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Jodi Shaw says
I just tweeted you. I am crying as I write this. I know how you feel and yet don’t because it’s you feeling it and not me. It’s funny the things that roll through our mind as we encounter our own mortality and that of others when we are fine and they aren’t but the what if’s come crashing down.
You write beautifully. Maybe one day I can be the same. Thanks for sharing!
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If there is EVER any meaning in the death of the young – the too young – then you have shown us what it is.
If there is ONE checkup that saves ONE life because of this post, then there is meaning.
If there is ONE checkup had, ONE self exam made, because of this post, then there is meaning.
If there is ONE PAP smear examined, whether Negative or not, but because of this post, then there is meaning.
If there is ONE pause for thought and consideration of ONE person’s health, because of this post, then there is meaning.
And with MEANING, there will come the inevitable day when cancer will no longer win, and it will be because of the meaningful deaths of the too young.
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Just realized as I was putting groceries away that I made no sense. Of course kiddos should outlive their parents. The problem is when they lose their parents *young*. Need more caffeine.
Barb J. says
How sad. But it makes me realize that I really am blessed, regardless of my troubles.
Yeah, I’m super emotional today. This didn’t really help. Even though it was fantastic.
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Beautiful, sad, and right on target. We get caught up in the little ( and sometimes big) problems of everyday life, forgetting that we should be grateful we have the gift of life.
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