Tomorrow Uncle Michael is having outpatient surgery. I wonder why. On Friday, he asked if I’d be able to drop him off at the hospital because he’s having surgery; they need to remove a cyst. OK, no problem, I can drive you, I thought. Now, here we are, three days later and I’m suddenly reminded that a few weeks ago, I started having thoughts about Uncle Michael dying. I dismissed them and never said a word to anyone because I already know I have an issue with fearing death. I worry about other people dying and leaving me behind because it’s happened so many times.
I asked my husband to call Uncle Michael and find out what time he expected to be out of surgery and WHY he’s having surgery. His reply? I’ll tell you folks tomorrow; it’s complicated. Mind starts racing. Cyst or tumor? Biopsy for cancer? Where is it? When did you find it? How big is it? What does it feel like? Does it hurt? Any other physical symptoms?
That was enough to let the anxiety take hold of me. I started to pray. Lord, please take away the anxiety, bind the fear of death, help me stay focused on You. I know it’s possible that Uncle was on the road or with friends and just wasn’t up to providing an explanation at the moment. Or, maybe he was just being a little drama. Either of those would be fine with me. Make it simple, easy, and minor – comparable to a large skin tag, or something like that. Yeah, that would be nice. I could deal with that.
Ain’t nothing like the good service, tasty food, and watching the sheer enjoyment on the face of my three-year old at CPK to lighten the mood. I couldn’t bring myself to tell my husband about my worry and the anxiety I was feeling. We’ve weathered the storm with two of my family members battling cancer and they were prime for exacerbating communication issues and disappointment in the relationship.
A nurse is a nurse, and s/he may have helped many sick patients and been through patients’ deaths. But I am convinced that it’s a rare few who really get what it’s like to be a surviving family member. Unless you’ve dealt with your own loved one’s battle for survival, erosion of hope and the expected demise, you can’t really understand. In fact, even those who have been through it can’t fully understand the feelings of another because everyone’s situation is unique.
My husband is one of those lucky people who have not experienced a deeply personal loss of a loved one in his 40+ years of life. He doesn’t get me and I’ve come to a point where I don’t want to explain. I’m tired of being that person who has some kind of family issue going on. I’m tired of being tired. The last seven years have been exhausting.
Let tomorrow and the answers come quickly. Jesus take the wheel.