Friday, June 19, 2015

And it hurts anyway.

A friend of mine lost a child.

It seems so common these days to hear of this kind of loss, and yet it still stands in the corner of my life, like a shadow in the periphery, the hint of something that does not happen in my vicinity. It's still something that only happens to other people, over there, on the outskirts of anything that directly affects me.

And we all try to be "good friends" when it happens. We "can't imagine the horror." We'll "pray for the family." We hug and we send plants and flowers and donations to cover the expenses because it's "the worst, simply the worst thing that could happen," right? We love our friends. We want them to know that we care.

And all the while, we really couldn't imagine the horror.

But because we're not heartless people, we try. We think about our kids, and we wonder how it would feel if this had happened to one of ours. How could we live through that phone call? How could we look our friends in the eye who are only trying to be comforting, and all the while knowing that they are sad for us, yes, but also relieved that it's not happening to them?

How would we not grow bitter and hateful and angry at everyone, including God, who doesn't really exist, because a benevolent God would never allow an innocent child to die? A benevolent God would never allow a mother to have her heart ripped right from her chest to be stomped on, to be left to rot.

How could we even get through one more day?

And I imagine the anger boiling inside me when I think of any of my children being torn from this world by any means at all. There are so many ways it could happen, and life is so fragile. I want to gather them up into a soft, pillowy cocoon so they'll never be hurt in any way. They'll be safe from torture, from fear, from pain, right?

But what if that's not even enough? What if what kills them comes from within? How do I protect them then? What kind of deals can I make? Who do I see about making a trade?

And it really doesn't matter, all this imaginary anger I feel when I think about all the things that could happen, but haven't happened.

Because I really can't imagine the horror of losing a child. Because the real horror of it will last forever, and my imagination is only good for about five minutes before I give up on thinking about that kind of Hell, because it's just too painful.

It's just too painful.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ma'am, Please Step Away from the Banana

Don't look at me. I'm hideous.

Seriously, I am.

Right now my arms and legs are covered with hives due to an allergic reaction to who-the-hell-knows-what. It started two nights ago after eating a very ripe, very delicious banana sent by the gods of all things ambrosial. 

In my mind, this gluttony is the cause of my demise. I have been allergic to bananas for a few years now. I was under the impression the allergy had dissipated, so I started eating them again, half a banana at a time, building up for the whole thing, you know? I did this four times, and I haven't had any reactions--no wheezing, no up-chucking. I was essentially in the clear, right? So when Saturday night rolled around, I was feeling a party coming on, and I went for the whole banana. (Should I insert dirty joke here? Nah. Better not. This isn't exactly a "family blog," but ya never know who's reading.)

The next day at work I was popping Benadryl tablets from a Pez dispenser, unapologetically offering them to my co-workers who have not had the pleasure of cavorting with "Loopy Drug-Induced Nessa." It got me through my day, but the hives remained.

This is the forty-fourth hour of my misery. In the words of Warren Zevon, “Poor, poor, pitiful me.”

I’m using this hideousness as an excuse to stay indoors, out of the public eye, but we all know, I don’t really need a reason to do that. It’s well with my soul to remain invisible. 

Hydrocortisone baths and shots of Benadryl are powerless against this raging rash, so I trotted down to Urgent Care and got signed up for some steroids. They make me twitchy like a drug addict who just needs a fix. (sniffsniff.) “Hey, uh,” (wipes nose) “You got any more a dat, uh…banana puddin’?”

Funny thing is, Doc says it’s not a food reaction. This reaction comes from something topical, something I probably used in the shower. I have to go back through my day and try to remember if I changed anything about my hygiene habits. All I can think is that Jacob (kiddo #3) schmoozed his way back into the house a few days ago and probably poisoned my body wash with his boy germs. Rotten child.

Maybe I’m just allergic to Jacob 

or motherhood 

or roommates of any nature.

Maybe this is why I’m still single.

(Or maybe it's the invisibility.)