Thursday, February 24, 2011

time warps

in the morning
I went to be with
a very special friend

for her biopsy

I had known about it for two weeks.
the second she told me
I offered to go
just to be there

she accepted my offer
so it was on my schedule
to be there for her

on the drive to school
I shared with Bryan
about a duel I was having inside
my own head/heart about whether or
to share with her that it was very painful - for me.
in that sharing, I realized that the story was one
that I rarely if ever said out loud

I do not enunciate every detail of my experiences
one reason: not to have that be the basis
of every conversation
another reason: not to burden or scare anyone
still another:
what is the point (and I really do check my motivations
on matters such as these)
yet another: going through it once took everything
I had - reliving it - too much, just too much at times...

Bryan is a truly profound and wise listener
he brings his heart with a quiet gentleness
and does not direct me away from the pain
of what I am saying by giving me "directions"
as to how I should or should not feel
or what I should or should not do
as soon as my mouth is closed

he may say something like
"I am sorry, Mom, that you went through that..."
"Is there anything I can do to help, Mom?"
or a loving silence
that lets me breathe

immediately after dropping him off at school
(where he sent his "best wishes to your friend...")
I drove to the Harris Center
a drive I had taken 4 years and 3 months ago

it seemed like a very long drive

I was there very early
on purpose
it was a reflecting time for me
knitting helped me with my nervous hands
reading a book wasn't working - all
the words blurred into nothingness
even when a paragraph was reread several times

people in and out
forms filled out technical jargon
about insurance
and too many questions
that seemed too personal
said out loud in a drone-like fashion
questions that were routine
to the askers:
are you married?
"yes" "no" ... but no smart(-ss)
answers like "none of your business"

women filed in
and they filed out
sometimes men waited for them
mostly they were alone
there was a non-emotional-expressionlessness
that almost haunted me

I did not want to invade private spaces
by staring into faces
but the fact that none of us were talking to each other
made me feel a little crazy
the bizarre muzak playing overhead was
so strange disconnected
where was the master switch so that I could
turn it off or change the station?
what kind of music do you play
as some people waltz in for a routine test
while others march in to face their next battle,
slump in to face their greatest fear...

I had been one of the waltzers going in the door
into a mass of tears and pain and fright
coming out the very same door

my friend arrived
she was in a quiet place
we talked with subdued tones
and had some time
I let her guide the discussion
at one point she asked me if it was painful
I expressed that it was for me
and each person and their experience is different
I shared with her that it was perfectly
to ask to hold someone's hand
there would be two people there
I held her hand as an example...

I watched her go in after her name was
routinely called
needle biopsies / two sites...

it was a long wait
many women came out of the door
and I looked at each one
knitting was the only thing I could do,
hour after hour

finally finally I saw her face
looking into the eyes of your friend
there are no words
only a very very gentle hug
that says.......... I am here
that is all

we did "the European girlfriend walk"
which means we walk arm-in-arm
to her car

time became so confusing to me
for the rest of the day
I took a nap and woke up
whacked out by the fact that I was fully dressed
it was 7:00 so I got ready for our morning
well, after shoes and jacket were on,
started putting things together to reveal
that it was actually the evening, OMG
where am i?

strange dreams of being late for class
and trying to find my new sixth grade classroom
kept reading the names of classmates
from olden days of my past...

went to work in a time warp, hoping, hoping so much
that my friend would hear different words
than I did

and oh happy day - she did: benign!

and I hugged her a bit tighter today than last time...
so good to see her SMILE!


  1. Happy ending for her. I am so glad.

  2. I agree with Janet "Happy Ending for her"

    (HUGS) for you for being such a kind & generous friend (HUGS)

  3. Thank you so much for doing a thing that was very difficult to support and encourage me. I wondered if it would be difficult. I know there was a higher purpose. Your hugs and the arm-in-arm walk was exactly what the doctor ordered. You are such a dear woman!