Saturday, March 15, 2008

The lull before the storm

Saturday. What do you have to say for yourself? You've sure not been much of a day to me, have you? Calm. Quiet. 'Course, I haven't pushed you to anything, either, have I? Let you off the hook, not putting you under the pressure of getting ready to leave. You know how the weekends are before leaving on Monday don't you? Jim suggested I not even start packing until Sunday because first of all, there really isn't that much that has to be done, and if I seem to be behind, he will help me. Remember that *team* I've told you about our being? *big smile* If there is ever a time I seem to procrastinate, the worst of it is the weekend before going to the hospital on Monday. Yep, here we go again, over the same old road of not wanting to pack, get up, and go, but gotta do it. I gotta do it. I guess, maybe it doesn't help to talk about it when it hits. But, see, I've kinda avoided this all day. I've slept most of the day. And I really did not want to do that either.

I've got lots here and elsewhere that I want to do, but just cannot seem to stay awake to do them. I'll have to work on some of the other days to get them done, since you are about gone now. Thanks for being here, and for being such a nice day. Oh, and a really big thanks for that Arkansas win in tournament play!

Oh, I just went back and reread what I had written, and I don't think I even know what I was writing when I wrote it. Just going round and round in circles it seems. I just seem to have so many non-productive days because of this disease, Myasthenia Gravis. It's okay if the legs don't work, I have plenty to do here in bed with the computer, and now I can read better, I have a new Patricia Cornwell book I'd give anything to read, but the eyes are bothering me too much for reading these days (wonder when the ptosis is going to get better and stay better?)

You know, I should be ashamed. I've been reading in one of the cancer newsgroups for a while. Cancer is a big, big fear of mine, and now my husband and sister have it. My sister beat breast cancer last year. Now she is battling Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and is taking chemo now. She is so far away; I wish she were within driving distance for us. She is eight years younger than I, and was still just a kid when I got married and moved away. Lessee . . . she was eleven with braces on her teeth. I was more her baby sitter, second mother, than her sister; always had been because Mama had to start working when she was just a baby. I think it was *Ruby* who came to the back door on 5th Street, and Mama hired her when Brenda was just a baby. That was when Mama went to work at Bobbie Brooks.

When Brenda was in first grade, I remember her coming home from school with this brown plaid dress on (we wore lots of plaid back then), and the hem of it was dragging in the front . . . unaware, uncaring . . . that was Brenda, so endearing. And she loved to play with the kids across the street when we lived in the green house on Arkansas Street. Only problem was, she would slip over there without asking because she knew the answer would sometimes be "no." WOW! Preparation for my mommy days, huh?? Only problem was, whenever she did this, *I* got in trouble for not watching her closely enough (think I might understand Mama's theory a little bit). Seems to me, having raised these kids of mine, and seeing how sneaky they can be, that no matter how closely I had watched her, short of being with her minute by minute, if she was determined to do that, then she was going to do it regardless. Mama never raised three at a time! She *did* get to have her three grandchildren around though, so she did have some idea of what it was like, and I think she was glad I was the one with them, and not her. Then what? I took it out on her! She got me in trouble. She wasn't going to get away with it! I wish I had not been placed in that position.

I realize it could not have been helped, and Mama did have the house cleaned, and laundry done, so we did not have that to do, but my having to be the baby sitter all the time during her early years kept a distance from us that was lost forever, I believe. It was not until we were both adults that we were able to come together on a more equal plane, and even then, there I was with three kids in tow. Still a gulf there. Too sad in some ways. We had fun the summer of '72. Do you remember, Brenda? The love I have for her, is it a sister love, or is it more akin to something between a sister and that of my children? Is there such a land? We never got to do true sister things, sibling things I have seen my children do as they have grown up. I think I lament that. It was not until I saw my children growing up, and realized Brenda and I never got to have what they had. I hear Jim tell stories of him and Bobby, and I never had anything like that. It is sad. I was an only child in many, many ways. The difference is like granddaughters Jennifer and Ashley, and they have talked about their differences because of their ages, which is the same as Brenda and me. I know. It's not the same exactly, but there is a similarity.

Well, I guess I've talked myself out for now. You're probably ready for me to hush, too, aren't you? It does not surprise me that I picked up, and wrote about this today, tonight, whatever, wherever you are. I sent a text earlier to my sister, though she would already be in bed, and will not see it till morning, telling her that I missed her and Mama, so she was already on my mind. Tears. Yeah, I wish the three of us could sit down together - after hugs and kisses - and just be together to do whatever it is we would want to do. Well, I *do* know we liked to shop once upon a time, however, we've all grown older (Jim says that hasn't stopped me;). Wonder what the three of us would look like nowadays strolling down the mall together? It would be fun, I can tell you that much. Oh, that is taking away any physical limitations we three might have; throw them out the window for that dream.

Thanks for the memories, Brenda. There sure are a lot more where those came from. You made my life beautiful. I remember wanting a baby sister when Mama was *expecting* you (we couldn't say 'pregnant' back then ;). Was happy when I learned about you. Have never, ever been sorry, or disappointed that you came into my life, as you were exactly what I had in mind all along . . . well, in that eight year old mind. *smile*

Jennifer Wages Gilliam
Granddaughter & Mother to
Matthew & Kaitlyn

Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

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