The skin on my hands grows thinner. My face shocking with age lines noticed only on the rare times when glimpsing it in the mirror. My inner world does not match the age of my body. Fear grips in the middle of the night while sitting upright because my digestive system has gone awry. And no wonder, 30 years ago I had it ‘butchered’ as one therapist described.
My fate is unknown. Other species do not have to live with the knowledge of their imminent death. Giving birth to two sons makes me wonder why put them through the torture of living only to die. But then the reminder that each of them and their families live nothing like my life has been. That satisfaction does not alleviate my own fears.
This fear of living hits hard as winter turns to spring. Many nights are spent awake, alone, and terrified in the dark coaxing the warrior to shine.
Where is this strength, the courage that has brought me this far? This too shall pass. But terror flourishes when my poor beaten body acts up. It became especially fearsome after the internal bleed that landed me in the hospital for a 3 night stay due to complications from the stomach stapling so long ago. Since that stay 2 years ago the fear of more bleeding never left.
Hospitals are no place for the sick. Noise, busyness, mistakes, no one to advocate for my needs. Others rush around attending to those with the loudest mouths complaining like out of tune tubas, being outrageously inconsiderate. Me? Meek, quiet, oh so very quiet.
This period of unfolding, grass growing, leaves budding, and flowers erupting… mixes my brain chemicals, mixes my soul, and mixes me up. In the night all the mistakes I think I’ve made, more irrational then true, explode with thought after thought dark and defeating. Mornings bring new hope, new trying, and better coping. But the nights, the nights are so hard.