This past Sunday's breakdown could possibly have been avoided had I not decided to read up on chemotherapy Saturday night. I have a tendency to do things I know I shouldn't do, that likely won't serve me well (like reading that Atlantic anesthesia article, remember?). So i went to bed with all the possible chemo side effects swirling in my unconscious. This was on top of the fact that my mother-in-law had gone home on Saturday leaving with me with my husband (god bless the poor man) as my main caretaker. We pretty quickly butted heads over something trivial in the morning and the next thing he know I was a blubbering mess crying that I wanted my mommy. Literally. My mother died of ovarian cancer a little over ten years ago, and I can say, even when I birthed my two children, I was never filled with such mother longing as I was on Sunday. Staring at me however at that moment was not my mother, but my husband, with his own stresses and pressures and testosterone. I continued to blubber for much of the morning and we continued to argue until I stood up and yelled "JUST SAY YOU'RE #$%#$ SORRY!" at the man for whatever the heck he was supposed to be sorry for at that moment, and he apologized. (BTW, Did I happen to mention that losing a boob apparently can bring on your period and other hormonal nuttiness? Surprise.)
Anyway, Ben and I moved on, but I was still struggling to keep the tears in check. I even cried through Will Ferrel movies. Ben wisely decided to take the boys bowling and after they left, I had this strange compulsion to watch my sisters' wedding videos. I wanted to see my mother. I wanted to be "near" my family. So first I put in my sister Jacqui's video, which I hadn't watched since the evening of my mother's funeral. And there was my mom alive and well and beaming in all her my-first-daughter-getting-married-to-a-nice-Jewish-boy glory. Potentially, watching this video could have swayed me either way emotionally, but as I had suspected, it made me feel better, not worse.
I saw other lost relatives too, my aunt Helen and uncle Harvey, and many of those who are, thankfully, still living but not nearby. By the amazing power of 1990's VHS converted to DVD, I was back in the womb of my sometimes dysfunctional but unique and special family. One particular highlight was my great Uncle Phil, (now gone I'm sure) but in his eighties on that day back in 1990-something, tap dancing and singing like a young man. What could be more inspirational than that, I ask you!? Except maybe this clip of me giving a very moving toast at the wedding - I hope this provides you, my peers, the same hope and inspiration for the future of our children and womens' hairstyles that it provided for me.
The icing on the cake of this rebound from despair was when my boys returned from the bowling alley, excited to share with me the prize they had won, my gift (exhibits A and B), also known as the lovechild of Barney and Jaws.
I'd always told them those things were a rip off, no one ever wins. But this time J had proven me wrong, and now I have a new "adorable" sleeping buddy to help me through my darker moments.
p.s. Monday was a better day.