Monday, October 10, 2011


Saturday 6:45 a.m.: Car broke down seconds before pulling in to the parking lot at work. Not broke-down-wouldn't-move, broke-down-probably-shouldn't-drive-it-home. That's kind of what you get when you drive a 20 year old car and the only thing classic about it is how old it is.

Saturday 12:15 p.m.: Decide 2 minutes into drive home that it's not probably-shouldn't-drive-home, but definitely-shouldn't-drive-home. Since this particular part-time job is 35 minutes from home, I call my in-laws who live nearby to come get me and take me home. My daughter's birthday party was to commence less than 5 hours hence and they were coming anyway. I'll pick up my car the following day, when we come back for a birthday party of their own.

Saturday 9:30 p.m.: Party went well. Food was good, house somehow got clean. I hear Scott outside playing hide-and-seek with the girls in the dark. They have faux but sometimes real screams. It would make me smile if I weren't so tired.

Saturday 11:00 p.m.: Bed is beckoning. In spite of the happiness, it's been a long and tiring day. Husband and I still manage to roll around together. We're newlyweds, after all. I sleep well, in spite of the giggling girls.

Sunday 9:00 a.m.: Making waffles and bacon for the girls and husband. Turn phone on. Text from my mom that my cousin died sometime while I slept soundly. Call her.

I call. And she tells me all.

Such a sad, sad story all by itself.

But sadder when she tells me that she can't come home because she had surgery two days prior to remove melanoma spots on her back. Spots I didn't know she had. Spots she probably wouldn't have told me about if she didn't feel like she'd better have a good excuse for not coming home at a time like this. Spots I shouldn't tell anyone else about.

She probably didn't think it was a big deal. Or she didn't want us to think it was until it was a big deal. Two things about that:

1) When you keep a secret, it's pretty hard to come clean, because then you have to be honest about the secret in the first place.

2) It is a big deal because two years ago, there were spots on her face. And there was chemotherapy. A topical chemotherapy that hurt to look at.

And so there's a history.

And she wasn't going to tell anyone. And I can't tell anyone.

Only I'm angry. And I did tell someone. I told two someones. I told my brother and I told my sister. I told them because, no matter what my mother, my beautiful, smart, wise, hard-working mother thinks, it isn't only her business to tell or not tell. It's our business, too. Even if we didn't love her as much as we do, it's our business. But we do love her as much as we do.
So, I told them.
That's what I want to say tonight.
Monday 8:09 p.m. The Tigers are on. The Lions are on. Both are big deals. But the biggest deal is for me to say to my mom that it is my business and it is my brother's business and it is my sister's business. It belongs to us and all of her friends and to everyone who loves her just as much as it belongs to her. She doesn't get to pick. And honesty hurts so much less in the long run than secrets. That's what I want to say tonight.

1 comment:

PottsAntiques said...

I felt the frustration of your words. I didn't tell my mother about a surgery to remove some pre-cancer, and she was upset. She claimed that it wasn't about me at that point. I guess I see her point in your writing.
My friend's mother was just diagnosed with Stage IV triple negative breast cancer. All I can do for my friend is bring her a bottle of wine and keep my mouth shut. I would do the same for you if I lived closer.