Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For mom

I guess when you’re too close to someone you fail to see what’s going on. It’s only when you take a step back, or when you try to look through the eyes of an outsider, that things become clear.

The people who are closest to me wonder what’s wrong when I have a silent or sad day (yes, even my parents). The people who look at my life from a distance, don’t even have to think twice. “But, your mom has been very ill for two years now! I wouldn’t know how I would cope.”

Indeed. Yes, I can be happy. I can have fun. I can have a great time, and laugh until tears stream down my cheeks. But it’s always, always there. The week she has her chemo treatment, I feel literally sick. I feel guilty if I fail to call her one day. I cry because there are so many things I’d wish to tell her – but I can’t, ‘cause she has already more than enough on her mind. The last thing she needs are my problems to worry about. And I’m happiest when I can spend time with her, enjoying it so much – because I know that every single minute is precious. I get angry at whoever fails to realize how ill she is. And I dearly appreciate those few friends who ask me how my mom is every single time they see me.

One evening, I was going through some of my poetry books, and one of them fell open on a poem about chemotherapy. It’s in Dutch, but I’ll give it a try, and freely translate it into English. It was so real, and so to the point… As if someone had crawled into my head, and written down everything I felt.

“Chemoterapie “ (Luuk Gruwez)

The dearest I have, is connected to a strange infuse
Through which her future has to drip into her
A future that disguises itself into strange names
Such as fluroblastine and methotrexate

The dearest I have, even doesn’t have a name anymore
It’s so helpless that it forgets itself
and becomes irreparable as a human being.

Doctors, pills, hospital visits and recipes
are noted down in diaries
The only thing that’s not allowed an entry is her death
To him, she has one thing to say:
“I don’t have time, I have to love”

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