I am an emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it is easily bruised. I love with all of my heart, and sometimes that is a flaw. I love to the point of anxiety. I worry for my loved ones health and safety. I am a complete mess at funerals. Sappy commercials make me cry. Uncontrollable ugly crying is not cute. I know that. I hate that I cry easily. I hate that I am so thin skinned. But that is who I am.
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…….me. (I apologize if you are now singing the theme song to The Facts Of Life)
I am 32 years old. I am capable of hearing “bad news”. I don’t want to hear bad news, but I am capable of hearing it and responding without doing something dramatic. Will I be upset? Of course! Does that mean I shouldn’t be told? No. Just no.
Abe came home from work, as he likes to do, and told me that my parents are planning on stopping by. That tiny statement immediately threw up several red flags. First of all, my Dad does not come by to casually visit. Ever. He is a homebody like his padre was. He only leaves the house if it’s completely necessary. Secondly, it was bizarre that they would call Abe at work to tell him this, and not me.
My Mom had surgery scheduled to remove her parathyroid gland. She has a morbid tradition of coming to see us all “one last time” before any of her surgeries. (She has had more than I care to mention, ay yi yi!) At first, that’s what I thought the purpose of the visit was, but it just seemed….off.
When I probed Abe for answers, he reluctantly told me that my mom wanted to come by and tell me her news in person. At this point, I will admit, I was mad. I felt betrayed and angry that they had this secret conversation behind my back, as if I were a child that needed to be told gently. It’s insulting. It’s been done before, and I was just as angry then.
At this point, I was crying and yelling at him to spit it out, tell me what they were keeping from me. Begrudgingly he told me.
My mom has cancer.
I locked myself in my bedroom and cried, in shock, in anger, in disbelief. Then I called my mom.
I sucked up all my tears, I hid my shaky voice and I told her that I knew. I told her not to hide things from me, I can handle it. She told me the only thing she was worried about was telling me. That’s embarrassing. My mom is diagnosed with cancer, and the only thing she is worried about is telling me.
I talked with her for exactly 24 minutes. Our phone times your calls for some bizarre reason, and every time you hang up, you are greeted with the exact number of minutes and seconds that you just spent chatting.
I assured her that I was fine and told her not to worry about me. She’s what matters right now. I brushed it all off and acted calm, I told her that she would be fine. The tears were rolling down my cheeks the whole time, but I kept it together for her. I am capable of doing that, as I have said.
Now what? I predict I will spend the rest of the day crying and scaring myself sick by doing internet searches on thyroid cancer. I will worry, I will be scared, I will be a mess. But once I get that out of my system, I will be optimistic. Worrying won’t fix anything. Tears won’t change anything. This is out of my hands.
Feed your faith, and your fears will starve to death.