Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sad News, and a Night Out After All

I got to go out with my girls last night, as it turns out. We went out to dinner and talked for a long time--it was wonderful. We were talking about how we all feel this urgency when we're together to cover every single thought or feeling that we've stored up or that comes to mind in the moment, as though we'll never get another chance to visit again. It's silly, but great. I know it will always be this way, no matter where we live. The fact that we ended up in Austin together ten years after college still blows my mind.

An hour before I left to meet them last night, I got an email from Nana (my mom's mom) with the subject line "Kick in the gut." And it really was. She has bladder cancer. She starts chemo and radiation as early as next week, five days a week, and if after six weeks there are still cancer cells, she may have her bladder removed.

I sobbed all the way to the restaurant last night. I had never considered the possibility of her getting sick anytime soon. My grandfather died last year of congestive heart failure and Alzheimer's; she had been caring for him for years (in Wimberley, where she still is) as he steadily declined. She's the toughest woman I've ever met, and other than having her knees replaced, she's never had any health problems. She eats well and exercises. She just seemed like one of those women who lives forever, at least into her nineties--sharp as a tack, plenty crotchety, and funny as hell. I guess it's possible that she'll still live into her nineties; I don't really know. I know that bladder cancer is aggressive, though, and I'm scared. I realize now that I was counting on her being here for years to come. (She turns 79 on July 18.) I'm closer to her than I am to my own mother.

Of course, I realize I'm lucky to have had her for this long, and to have hundreds of emails and letters that we've shared over the years. And I'm so happy she and Eamon got to be in this world together.

I suppose it' s not possible to ever have enough time with those you love.

Speaking of my mom, we're driving to Dallas tomorrow morning after E's swim class to spend the weekend with her and my stepdad (and my twenty-four-year-old sister, who's living with them right now). And my mom and David's three huge, untrained Alaskan Samoyeds. This is the first time we've visited them since E was born, not that we went much before that. In any case, it should be interesting, for a variety of reasons I don't have time to list here. We'll see how E does with the dogs and vice versa. I wonder if we'll get any sleep.

Eamon has been very high maintenance today. In fact, I gave him some Motrin a few minutes ago. I even just turned on some short animated films (I pretty much never let him watch any TV) out of desperation. I have so much to do before tomorrow morning, and aside from errands, I haven't done any of it. He woke up at 5:00 this morning and hasn't napped much, and he's been screaming off and on for no apparent reason, something I always attribute to teething. He also has several big red blotches on his face, and I don't know what they're from. Hmmm.

Okay, time to be productive.

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