Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Time Has Come Today...

One year ago my baby was still in this world. One year ago today I was picking Brandon up, waiting while he had a cranial MRI, and then taking him home. I was worried sick about him. He continued to lose weight he couldn’t afford to lose. He wasn’t hungry. He had fevers off and on. He couldn’t shake a cough that had begun in late March. He was weaker and weaker. Until now he’d handled getting himself to and from healthcare appointments. This time he called to take me up on my offer to pick him up for his MRI appointment and take him home afterward. As I’ve said, I was worried sick. I was watching my baby deteriorate before my eyes.

With his usual good humor, Brandon submitted to the MRI. I had some job-related responsibilities, which I took care of via cell phone while the MRI was being done. At some point there was a waiting period. I think it was between MRIs or, perhaps, it was before they got started. At any rate Brandon took the break time to bring up the topic most on his mind. What could he give or do for his wife Christina to make her first Mother’s Day, which was to take place the next Sunday, the special day she deserved. (He didn't want to give her jewelry again, as he’d given her some special bling as a push present the preceding December.)

We discussed possible gifts, but none seemed quite right and I told him I’d think about it and call when I had some ideas. (More on what was decided upon later this week…) Meanwhile, my heart ached that Brandon could do so little. When he finished his MRI, I offered to drive anywhere to buy food that he’d actually eat. I think we ended up at a Taco Casa – his choice - for one very specific item that didn’t hurt his irradiated taste buds and easily slid down his irradiated throat.

I asked him if there was some way I could help him do something that would make him feel like him again. Couldn’t I drive him somewhere so he could skydive (tandem) and feel that thrill again. His response, “Wow, Mom, I never thought I’d hear you encourage me to jump out of an airplane!” (In the past I’d thanked him for waiting to inform me about his jumps until after he was safely on the ground again!) Couldn’t his camping cousins’ buddies take him to the Red River Gorge for one more weekend of the camping he dearly loved. (He did not get this trait from either parent!) He wouldn’t have to go far off the beaten path to set up camp, and his cousins could carry the cooler for the gourmet meals he loved to surprise his fellow campers with. (No wienies and beans when one was with Brandon.)

Just one year ago. Today (now yesterday?) I walked “my” labyrinth in Smale Riverfront Park, my thoughts dwelling a year in the past. And I cried and then I cried some more as I walked. Last year I never could have imagined that I held so many tears. (Thank heavens for sunglasses.) A group of ‘tween students sat on the wall surrounding the labyrinth and several teachers supervised, all waiting to go to the Reds baseball game. A few students joined me as I walked, and one asked about the “maze,” giving me an opportunity to discuss the differences between a labyrinth and a maze, and what it means to walk the sacred spiral as prayer. As I finished my walk and clipped my bicycle helmet in place for the ride home, one of the teachers said he’d watched me walk and it looked to him as if I was really into my Zen. “If only,” I replied. No, I’ve lost my Zen this past year. Maybe I’ll find it again some day, but it won’t be any day soon.

The next month is likely to be rough ride. Travel with me at your own risk for time has come today...

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