Bargaining


Anyone who knows me, even a little, knows that I very rarely talk to God.
But of course there are those times in your life when a conversation with some higher power is strongly recommended, even possibly necessary.
Those are the times when I look at my mom laying in a hospital bed, or sitting in the ER, or going in for tests.

It’s like in a movie or some attempt at melodramatic literature when the little girl says, “Please God, don’t let Mom die; I’ll do anything.”
It’s like that, but in real life. I feel embarrassed, bargaining with the higher being for a life, something I know I’m not quite in control of, but knowing I asked makes me feel better.
So does making her swear that she won’t die, as if death was a choice. Left, death. Right, life. Oh, tempted to go left, but Katie made me promise.

For me it’s these strings that tie us to life, that leave us here. Perhaps they remind Death of a purpose, a promise, the people here on Earth who’d struggle immensely if that person were to be whisked away elsewhere.

I made that deal. I’ve been making that deal since kindergarten.
And today, as I was sobbing in the front seat of the car in a parking lot, I realized that maybe my bargaining paid off. Sort of. I get to keep Mom, but in exchange, I get to understand her fear, no, terror, her pain, her grief, her anxiety, her strength, her courage, her determination. I wallow in my fear. It overtakes me. The one thing that I want so desperately, children, is being dangled in front of me by the vicious pre-cancerous cells, taunting me maliciously on a daily basis. Mom has that too, but in a different form. She has to be taunted by words such as “remission” and “brain tumor” even though they’re in the past. They’re a constant presence.

I get to keep her, though, and any amount of pain on my part is worth that. I’m not going to be as strong as she is, not yet. I can’t even attempt that. But I’ll suffer, I’ll take all of the bad so that for now I can retain the one person I love more than my own life.

Tomorrow is going to be a hellish day. I’m taking her with me though; we’re making a list. Questions to ask. Things that need answered. Now. Not when the results come back. Not a year from now. NOW.

So hopefully G/god is listening. Hopefully this test of endurance is nearing its end. Hopefully I’ll look back on this one day with neutral emotions. But that’s hope and this is fear.

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