||[Nov. 25th, 2009|11:18 pm]
The customary Thanksgiving clause is: “In no particular order:”
I am thankful I was told today that my biopsy shows no cancer. My operation has been moved to the 4th of December as it looks to be a bit more complicated than first thought and the specialist wants to do it himself, so I have another week to wait before healing can begin. It seems a long hard road to get to a point when I can walk to the end of the road without nearing collapse but I’ve started on it by taking my first ever tonic. It is red, tastes of mulled wine, and leaves a pleasant warm feeling spreading out through my chest not unlike a less offensive relation of whisky. I’m eagerly awaiting my next dose.
I’m thankful for my husband. I don’t talk about my feelings for him very often on this blog as they are too personal. And complicated. But he is the only man I know who is strong enough to handle the very full on ‘Life with Erin’ for eternity, and crazy enough to actually fight tooth and nail to do so. I know that he will always take care of me, he will always make me laugh, and he will always appreciate that I mean well when I say I would happily sell his pinkie fingers for a million pounds. I’d sell mine too.
I am thankful for my son. This is the obvious number one thing I am thankful for as ultimately everything I do now is for him. Matthew, I have no doubt, would rapidly decline into feeble senility were I to shuffle off this mortal coil, but Alex… That is something I do not want to think about. He is my heart and I am his. I need to be here to provide a soft body to snuggle up with when life gets too much. I need to be able to remind him to mind his manners with a look when someone else would fail at 20 words. I need to be here so he knows he is safe, and the world will not suddenly be flipped out from underneath him. Alex is the greatest burden my life will ever bear, but I am thankful each day that I have him. One day Alex will be a grown man, able to walk the rocky road on his own. Until that manhood has been reached I cling to every ounce of strength and goodness I have so that my bramble can produce his rich berries.
I’m thankful for the friends and family who have stood by me throughout my long period of illness when I know I have been dull, and moaning an excessive amount. (I’m not saying that is going to change any time soon, it’s sort of taken root.) No one likes to be reminded of mortality all the time and sadly I’ve been ticking that box. Not everyone has been so kind. Some people have made me feel like physical weakness must surely signify moral weakness or lack of willpower. With these people you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so I generally don’t. But back to the gratitude – my family & friends have been wonderful.
I’m thankful for great books, beautiful music and my huge chocolate coloured faux fur blanket. I’m thankful that my three crazy cats are alive and well. I’m thankful we had enough money to get Alex the perfect Christmas present. I’m thankful all the above friends and family will understand if they don’t get a Christmas present… (I’m working on it!)
I’m thankful that Barack Obama is President of the United States of America. I’m thankful my Grandparents are resting in peace together.
Yesterday Alex was taking an afternoon nap after preschool and I was wasting time on the internet in my room. I got tired and put the laptop down on the floor, open and facing the mirrors, shedding a calm and eerie blue light over the dark room. I had music playing, Tori Amos’ Midwinter Graces (I’m nothing if not consistent). The house was utterly silent but for the rushing of water through the radiators, and Candle: Coventry Carol whispering about my room. I lay with my head buried in two feather pillows and my trusty furry blanket covering my skin, and I cried. Not violently or passionately, I did that before. It was just a tear or two that my future is so uncertain. I was still worrying the biopsy would show I had cancer; I was in pain and feeling terrible. I’ve been unwell for the majority of Alex’s life and it’s impossible to remain optimistic all of the time.
It was in to this quiet state of grief, music and light, that Alex crept, having woken from his nap. He tiptoed into my room, looking around the familiar surroundings with eyes of awe like those a child shows on Christmas morning. His beautiful lips were open and he gasped in surprise, turned to me and whispered “This is a magical world!”
My heart soared; I grabbed him almost too hard and kissed him even harder. He said it again and again and I agreed, and my heart was truly thankful.