Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In the Spirit of Christmas

Today: Sylvia, lacking all of her usual sparkle and spunk, nestled into her fuzzy orange blanket on the couch. She threw up and rested alternately.

I left the room to wash out the throw-up bowl. When I returned, I saw that Eleanor had written a love note to Sylvia, using her finest Best Guess Spelling. She affixed it to the couch with transparent packing tape, lest a strong wind arise and blow away the message.

Amid the pungent smell of barf, I gathered up this moment like a gleaner collecting grain.

I treasured it and pondered it in my heart.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thoughts in the Shower

It's because she said they're looking for internal bleeding or a mass, says my brain. That's what the dream was about.

My brain is reasoning with my heart, attempting to explain away the scary dream I had about my sister last night.
I was in the bathroom with my sister. We were brushing our hair, our teeth; putting on make-up and using the toilet. She pulled out an envelope addressed to herself. I recognized the hand-writing immediately as her old highschool boyfriend's. "He's so sweet," she said, "I think he wants to marry me." Excitedly, she pulled out the symbol of their engagement, saying, "he's sent me a medal!" I expected to see the medal from Gym Class that I took away from Sylvia last night: the cheesy plastic, Made-in-China-and-most-certainly-containing-lead one, inscribed with WINNER on the front, the one that she kept chewing on until I finally made good on my threat to take it away. Instead my sister pulled a dumpy round smiley face from the envelope. It looked like something a 3 year old might make with clay, the little round eyes bulging from the face in 3-D. "This is what he sent you as a token of his love?" I asked incredulously. "For this you are considering leaving your husband and abandoning your children?" I thought, but I kept it to myself.
"Brain," my heart says, "I like how you protected me from my real fears in that dream."

Which is this: that the doctors will find something horrible in my sister, something dark and foreboding that will threaten not only the little child that she carries in her belly, but my sister's life as well.

I look up, and see a house fly on the bathroom wall. He's obviously confused about the season; he should be long gone by now. Instead he's bobbing and bouncing, slamming his head into the wall, searching blindly for a way out.

I know just how he feels.