I sit in the exam room.
Half covered by a sheet and a gown.
I am in Urgent Care for two things. Neither are causing me pain. But they have the potential to be alarming.
I wait for the doctor as I watch the faucet in the room.
It’s a slow, inconsistent, barely noticeable release. But it’s all I can focus on.
One of the issues seems to be caused by a latent reaction to the antibiotics that wreaked havoc on my system after the infection from my latest round of treatments for Bladder Cancer.
The other issue is my face being a red leather texture. It looks like a sunburn. It could be a reaction to food, or a lotion or the fact that I have been doing a lot of crying.
My cousin (2nd cousin once removed) who I have known all my life passed away in the middle of the night on Saturday.
Shaka and I drove to her house Friday night to say our goodbyes as she got released from the hospital in hospice care. As we drove through South Pasadena to a home I have been to for countless gatherings, I looked at all the old houses in the neighborhood. I thought of the multitude of stories from various generations that were hanging in the wallpaper, stone and beams of these gorgeous old structures. I thought of my cousin and her crazy youthful energy. She was just lucid and celebrating her birthday less than a month ago. less than 5 years ago, she jumped off the Waimea Bay jumping rock during my wedding week surrounded by those much younger than she but who didn’t have even an ounce of her spirit.
And poof, just like that, her journey took a different turn than we ever would have imagined.
She transitioned 2:45am, Saturday morning.
Her story had a period. And I couldn’t fathom that it wasn’t a comma.
I returned the next morning to see how everyone was. All those who had stayed by her side all night long and all week long, actually were walking around in a daze. One cousin was making coffee that no one was drinking. Vegans were eating cream cheese. Ketos were eating carbs. Everyone was waiting for something that had already gone.
The tears flowed.
My face had a strange texture. It looked like high school play makeup face with Raggedy Ann blush circles that couldn’t be covered with concealer.
Saturday evening, I went to Mads’s and ST8’s for dinner. Somehow, I was able to cover the redness on my cheeks. It actually looked like I had perfect skin. I have no idea the wizardry that had taken place, but I was grateful from looking like I had a botched filler procedure. The weather was lovely, and if it hadn’t been for the sadness in my family, it would have been a perfect Spring evening. Mads and ST8 picked up some yummy pho and Shaka and I basked in their hosting and good company.
I watched Elon Musk on SNL when we got home (his presence in the sketches was odd). I fell in and out of sleep on the couch, not remembering what day it was and what had been a dream. The unmistakable voice of Miley Cyrus singing Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” flowed in and out of my consciousness.
Drip, Drip, Drip.
In the exam room, the minutes slip away imperceptibly.
I wait to see the doctor. I have two issues I want looked at. I have no idea if my background stories will even be necessary.
It takes awhile for her to come in to see me. I actually take a cat nap.
When she walks in, I slowly sit up like I am in my own room. She laughs and says, “Everyone always feels like they should spring up. Take your time.” It wasn’t sarcastic.
It’s Mother’s Day. I ask if she is a mom. She is. I wish her happy Mother’s Day.
She likes my background stories. Not too long but the right amount of information, she says. She is very kind and I am appreciative that nothing is really wrong with me.
She gives me some ointments and meds. The lady at the pharmacy asks if everyone in my family is happy and healthy.
I think, what a strange thing to say in a hospital. But it’s Mother’s Day and the well wishes are flowing from everyone in there.
I smile and say, yes. But I want to say, “NO! I just lost someone. I am here at the hospital for two things that turned out to be nothing but I have spent my afternoon floating through a floaty weekend.”
Drip. Drip. Drip.
I see the afternoon slide into sunset.
I don’t have Sundayitis.
Shaka and I eat a late lunch. He picks up a Thai curry pizza. The flavors go together better than I would have imagined.
I start watching Girls5Eva and it makes me giggle.
So ridiculous, which is what my brain needs.
My brain moves from giggling to gratitude. With this profound loss to our family, it reminds me that all we have is this moment. I am grateful she was surrounded by family in the end.
I am grateful I was able to call my mom on this day.
I was grateful that I was able to enjoy a lovely evening last night with friends,
I was grateful that this morning, I got the chance to read with Faye for her audition. And per usual, we were able to catch each other up on things. Tomorrow is her birthday! Once we are both fully vaxxed, I am taking her out to celebrate!
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Moments, laughs, memories, lives, stories…they all just keep releasing themselves on this journey. Some are beginning, some are ending, some are marked by milestones and some…are just the spaces in between. Nothing to remark on but just as important.
I once read somewhere that a universe exists between every breath.
I wonder if it’s the same between the drips. Those drops, forever held in that moment, lasting for a second, or sometimes longer.
To drop away, to be remembered or forgotten but to be followed by a new drop.
And that new drop circles back in my mind to the Dolly Parton song.
It’s been a long dark night
And I’ve been a waitin’ for the morning
It’s been a long hard fight
But I see a brand new day a dawning
I’ve been looking for the sunshine
You know I ain’t seen it in so long
But everything’s gonna work out just fine
And everything’s gonna be all right
Drip….drop….and back to the top