We had cracks in our ceiling.
They started as little toothpick sized black marks in various places and over the past few months raced across our living room in a mad dash to connect. I don’t know what would have happened if we had let them. All I know is two weeks ago when I got a phone call saying my Mom was back in the hospital I had had enough. I couldn’t fix any of that, but those cracks were done having the run of our ceiling.
In the time it took Richard to run an errand I had everything off our walls and all of our furniture moved into another room. When Richard came home he deposited everything on the table and came to the middle of the room and wrapped his arms around me.
“I can’t do these cracks anymore honey. I really, really can’t.”
So, on top of everything else going on we began a major remodeling project. There has been scraping and putty knives and texture. There have been numerous trips to home improvement stores and a lengthy conversation with Walt who had just taken a second job selling light fixtures. It has been the exact thing I needed. When I’m scraping and sweeping and fetching I don’t feel so helpless. So, yesterday, when Richard asked me if I would dig the caulk out of our window frames I agreed readily.
Then, my phone rang.
It was my Mom. She was home from the hospital, but so miserable. Bloated and hurting and done. She is done with having cancer. She is done with people poking and prodding her.
She is done. And, I don’t want her to be.
I want her to fight through this. I want a million more phone calls that end with “I love you crazy mama.” I want her opinion on politics and my daughter’s new boyfriend and whether or not I should buy a new car.
I’m not done. I’m not done at all.
It was these emotions I was working through as I savaged the caulk around our windows. Richard found me crying, again, and trying to change the course of mom’s illness with a razor knife and a screw driver.
He left me alone to finish the job, but not before issuing a gentle reminder that whatever survived had to be able to withstand the next hurricane.
The next hurricane?