Where do you start? What words will sound just right?
I remember several years ago talking to someone and saying, “I don’t know why I survived my battle with breast cancer and so many others better than me have not.” In a way, their answer was a logical one but one part of their answer stuck in my throat. They said “You survived for a reason and perhaps that reason is to make others aware, to teach through speaking out. But maybe you survived because one day you will have to help someone specific.”
No mere mortal can know the reason one person lives and another dies. We can just take our second chance and run with it, hope that we make the right decisions, that we can inspire someone, teach someone, be there for someone, love someone.
If my time on earth were to end tomorrow, I think I can safely say I have done the best I could possibly do with my second chance, up until now. That is a good thing. But I don’t think it is my time just yet. I think my work is just at a new stage … a new beginning, a new level.
Saturday morning, 27 November 2010 and I am sitting at my desk with my first cup of coffee. My mind is still somewhat hazy from sleep and the words on my computer screen still blurry. A sound blasts through my headset which thankfully, I am not wearing. A tab pops up on my screen and a smile sprouts to life on my face. Angelika is awake and messaging me on Skype. The familiar words “call please” appear and I fumble to cover my ears and move the mic into place all at the same time. Bad ju-ju *chuckles*.
Bad ju-ju was right. I found out that I was flying to Prague the next day … not that I don’t love going to Prague … I do, but not for this reason. Auto-pilot engaged.
Angelika has developed a blood clot in her right leg. She is in a lot of pain and needs me to come over to help her keep things running smoothly. Not a problem, right? What are partners for if not to help out when times get tough for whatever reason. I began making arrangements, money for gas, someone to make sure my water pipes don’t freeze … “Oo-er Missus” (thanks Frankie Howerd) and parking arrangements for my car at the guest-house I use near the airport. With me so far? Good.
All the above handled, I packed my suitcase while my laptop was charging then headed over to a friend’s house to print off my ticket. All done and still some time to try and calm my nerves. I went to bed a lot earlier than normal since the weather had been harsh and I knew it had snowed over a lot of my route which meant I would have to make an early start, allowing more than the normal 2 and a half hours for the journey.
No rest for the wicked, isn’t that what they say? I woke up every 2 hours through the night and in the end, I just stayed awake from 4:30. Took care of the 3 S’s (if you don’t know what these are, ask someone who has served in the military *grins*) and got dressed. Had my first coffee over facebook then loaded the car. My nerves are causing my stomach to churn *sighs*. It won’t be long now. One last cup of coffee and I locked up the house and headed off to Bristol.
I arrived in Prague to a welcoming white carpet of snow. I love Prague in each seasonal cloak I have seen her attired in, but the virginal white suits her best. My stomach is churning. I have no idea what to expect. Will I be seeing something similar to the euphoria of a “monthly high” brought on by painkillers that temporarily appease bungy-jumping ovaries or a furrowed brow, beaded with delicate Femme perspiration as opposed to the dripping of Butch sweat? Will the beautiful woman I love be delirious from pain or bearing it stubbornly as she does everything?
I find her curled in a semi-fetal position (perhaps it makes the pain more bearable), and there is pain. It shows on her face, in her blue eyes that are normally sparkling but now cloudy like a foggy morning in London. I can hear it in her voice, it trembles as the sounds pain brings brush over her lips that are as delicious as they look. I feel it in her touch, even though she is trying to give me a tender hug, her finely manicured nails attempt to pierce my clothing to find flesh to dig into in a vain sadistic attempt to share her pain with me, and I her masochist reaching out to accept it willingly, wanting to drag all her pain from her and absorb it to free her.
Later, she is admitted to hospital and I cannot find the peace of sleep. I wake, look at my watch and wish it were me instead of her at regular intervals until the sun rises and feigning sleep is no longer a necessity.
Words that I have heard before echo in my head. “A tumour” has caused the blood clot. I recycle through memories of my personal experiences praying that this mutancy within her strong yet wondrously fragile body will not be malignant. That I will not be losing her to the beast I slayed but that left me with mental and physical scars.
Demons rear their nasty heads and breathe fire into the pit of my stomach as I make my way down antiseptic corridors to her room. A trembling hand that I am thankful she cannot see reaches out to gently knock on the closed door and I go into her room. I have so much I want to say, so many questions that rattle in my brain and end up giving me a headache from their screams for answers. But silence overcomes me and I watch as mother and son converse amidst hugs and I smile.
I dearly love watching their interactions, listen in on their conversations. They are both so priceless and mean so much to me. I am thankful that I live close enough to them that in scenarios like this one, I can be here in a relatively short time.
Get better soon, Angelika!!
(NOTE: This blog entry was written over three days based on initial emotions and feelings.)
~ originally written between Nov. 28th, 2010 and Dec. 1st, 2011