It smells like “Go wake your dad up”.

My good friend Elizabeth once said in a drunken stupor, “Every conversation, gone on long enough, goes back to poop and pee.”

In my defense, I’ve been journaling for almost 4 months so this conversation (albiet with myself) has gone on long enough to talk about poop. Just a little bit more. And then I’m done.

5 days. 5 days of gurgling, not eating, not drinking enough, woozy pooping. And then it stopped. This morning. All day I’ve been eating. I eat and think, “that was the best ham sandwich/corn dog/bagel/stirfry/cupcake I’ve ever had!”

And my wondering, just days before this “episode”, if there really are 6-10 undigested meals in my colon is most probably, really true. Because I ate nothing, next to nothing and nearly nothing for days on end and yet continued to attend Poopstock ’08.

But before it stopped completely, there was the gas. Painful. And noisy. And entertaining. And stinky. I was on the phone with my sister last night and she was lauging her butt off because she was convinced that she could smell it over the phone. My house? It smells like “Go wake your dad up”.

My dad used to work third shift (graveyard shift) at the railroad when I was a kid. Little kid. My mom used to send us into their room around supper time. “Go wake your dad up.” The room had been closed all day so that he could sleep. The room smelled like a man had been sleeping there all day. Like hot morning breath, sleepy farts and burps. Like the sheets on sheet changing day. (Sidenote: I’m pretty sure that the room still would smell like roses when a woman works third shift and sleeps all day…this appears to be a man thing) So that’s what my house currently smells like. There isn’t enough Febreeze in the world…but enough with the poop talk.

Ella and I had a “Big Girl” day today. I took Amelia to Robyn’s and we went to lunch, went to Claire’s and picked out new earrings, got summer sandals and then went to Target. We don’t do that enough, Ella and I. It was good for both of us.

I started a new chapter just as winter is winding down and as I look to a new season. Spring. Hope, right? New growth and new beginnings. Open the house up and play outside. Clean, sort, organize, exercise. It all sounds good.

They say that the first stage of grief is isolation and denial and the second is anger. I’ve spent plenty of time alone and plenty of time not really believing that the person on the phone will never be him. I have surrounded myself with just a very, very few close friends. I don’t return phone calls very often. My To Do list is still more than a page long (typed, single spaced). I’m forgetful. I get sick easily. And I sometimes am stopped cold just thinking about how I still can’t believe that this all happened. To me. To him. To us.

The whole time he was sick, I just kept saying “This is not about me.” And I made myself believe it. I couldn’t make it about me. Even knowing in my heart of hearts what the outcome would eventually be, I couldn’t think about me. If I did, I wouldn’t have been able to get up, do anything, care for anyone, breathe, sleep, function. Everything was about him, directly. In reality, everything was about the girls. I sheltered them and protected them from the worst. I wouldn’t let him feel sorry for himself around them. I wouldn’t let them be shuttled from family to family when we needed childcare. Keep things as normal as possible, as long as possible.

And now that I’ve come through, I hope, the worst moments of my life I feel like I want to be selfish. I want it to be about me. For an hour. Or a minute. Or whatever. It makes me want to do things like get a drastic hair cut or schedule a pedicure even though I hate doing my own hair and having my feet touched. I want to sleep in. I want to buy something pretty for myself but I don’t know what it would be. I would even take a feeling of being in control which, in and of itself, is selfish.

The second stage of grief, they say, is anger. I guess I’m not ready to move on because I just don’t have the energy or the strength to move on. I don’t want to be angry. What use is it? Will it move me to action? Make me obsessive about something, anything, like I used to be about sewing and about being frugal so that I could continue to stay home with my babies?

I just don’t see the point of getting angry. At whom shall I direct said anger? At what?

Cancer is not vicimless but it is, for the most part, blameless.


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