Sunday, April 17, 2011


Mom seems to have turned a switch in her head. Maybe it’s some kind of coping mechanism, I don’t know.

“I’m feeling much better” she says. And I’m happy for her – but does she really “forget” that this is because they’ve started giving her daily doses of morphine?

“Oh, they’ve discovered another cancer lump in my neck. It’s blocking some artery, so there was a risk of blood cloths in the brain”. And she’s telling me this in the same tone of voice as “I’ve made you some chicken soup”. “But other than that it doesn’t do any harm” – okay, nice to hear that, mom.

This is followed by my dad silently telling me how she almost had a huge traffic accident at a railroad crossing after she heard the foresaid news; but clearly didn’t hear the very loud bell announcing the arrival of a train.

So yes, I’m worried. I know sometimes you have to pretend that everything is okay – just to keep on going, just to survive. Nobody can live with the idea of a deadly disease day-in day-out for three years in a row. Sometimes denial is a welcome friend.

Or maybe she just wants to spare me after my emotional crash of last week. The “Look, I’m happy and everything is okay – so you have to be happy too” – approach; in which my mom is highly qualified. But which isn’t working for me anymore. There’s my dad as well. On his own. Taking care of mom, and being there for every fall she takes. And from time to time, he has to spill it all out (however unlike him that is). So it happens that I hear about crying spells that last all night. About nerve-attacks for which only tranquilizers help. And yes, about escaping what could have been a deadly car accident on a railroad crossing.

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