When you think you are sick—I mean really sick, like possibly Cancer Sick, the world takes on this kind of slow-motion aching acute weirdness. Now let me clear up right now that I am not sick (in body-haw! – my mind is a whole other issue) and I do not have cancer, and in fact, I am in solid, good, disgustingly great danged ole health. But over the last few weeks, well . . . I thought maybe my time had come, even though it made no sense to me.
I thought it was that time. You know, the time where the doc looks at me with pity and shakes his head, while I sit there stoic and wide-eyed, and as I walk out of the doc’s office, the nurses are shaking their heads, “. . . and she was one of the HEALTHY ones! Why, if she’s sick, then none of us has a chance!” Fade out, on to funereal scene where my ashes fly in an arc into the air as my friends and family shake their heads and . . . um . . . anyway . . .
The entire thing mimicked a sitcom—the comedy or dramady—where misunderstandings, miscommunications, mistakes, missed calls and strange cryptic messages, all conspired for a perfect storm of discombobulation that led me to be convinced that Something Bad Was Wrong With Me.
It’s funny how our mind works, how it expands to take in what is complete bullshit but at the time doesn’t feel like bullshit at all—it feels Real. How like the clichéd snowball negative dark thoughts can be, flying down the hill as it grows bigger and bigger–it becomes The Blob, devouring all rational thought.
And even though I told myself how healthy and Kick Ass I have been feeling, it seemed at every turn there was a show or magazine article about some woman who was “So healthy and vibrant!” and then it turned out some weird amoebic cell with grave intent was hiding in there allllll aloooong, just waiting to cut her down in her prime!, and without her even realizing it! Dang!
I thought about how arrogant I am about my health—I’m one lucky bitch when it comes to being strong and healthy. I have relatively few complaints, and am in great shape. Yet, my snowball thoughts careened over how strong and healthy and stubborn and willful and determined and sometimes really stupid I am—stupid as in ignoring injuries, or ignoring symptoms if it means I can’t get out there and do whatever the hell I want to do. The negative-dirty-snowball flew by screaming, “Yeah, that’s the person who gets sick and doesn’t know it! The one who walks around all cocky in her health! You gonna DIE! YOU ARE FUCKED!”
Well, sheee-iiit, of course I am going to die one day. When or how is a secret no one (yet) knows and that’s fine by me. Thank gawd I can laugh about it now, yeah. Beats walking around in a fog of “Oh crap. I ain’t ready to go. I need to finish this novel. I have to clean out my closet. I need to go see my granddaughter. I just grew out my hair and what if I lose it? (Yeah, I really did think that—omg, how vain! *snark*).”
But you know what? I didn’t think, “Whyyy meeee!” I thought, “Well, why not me?” I mean, it’s not about being brave or being tough when you face something head on and butt it like an old stanky goat. It’s about “That’s just life. We live and then one day we die, and sometimes really sucky shit happens and people die sooner than others, too soon, achingly soon, heart-breakingly soon, devastatingly soon.” No one is more privileged than someone else. No one is more special than someone else. No one gets a pass from the You Are Fucked arena, because sooner or later something comes along to end it all. Yeah, don’t most of us hope to “end it all” when we’re very old and lying in bed with a sweet smile. But, if not, then whatchoo gonna do? And I can say with certainty that way better people have gone before me, and some way too soon.
Whenever I’d have thoughts of some bucket list (and I never wrote one of those, just never have), I thought I’d want to travel abroad and do all this cool stuff like jump out of airplanes and white-water rafting while shouting “WHEEEEEEEEE! I’m still alive (for now)!”
But guess what? Nawp. Not so. My “last days” list was very very short, with one item that made me go “Really? Seriously?” and when I told GMR about No. 4, he looked at me as if to say, “Who is this woman I married?” Or maybe the look was “Can I watch?” haw!
Here’s my short list:
- Spend time with my family and friends—lots of time, oodles of time, time of time of time itself.
- Meet Ellen DeGeneres because she’s just a cool woman full of light and she’ll make me feel happy—and I don’t want a thing from her, not a thing but a hug (well, see no. 4 –haw!). I mean, is there anyone else so full of light and hope and love and sweet and support and encouragement and fun – and we could dance.
- Find a spot in my woods and have one good cry and then suck it the hell up, because who wants to waste time crying when I have family and friends to spend time with.
- Kiss a woman—and I didn’t mean on the cheek. I meant a “Katy Perry I kissed a girl and I liked it” kind of kiss. I’ve never kissed a woman that way, I thought to myself with a “Huhn, well.” I thought perhaps I could kill two birds with one pucker and kiss Ellen DeGeneres, if Portia didn’t mind. Haw! Yeah. Well. That’s what I thought.
That’s it. That’s my list. Oh sure, I thought how nice it’d be to travel a bit, have some gelato in Italy, or visit the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, or have the Perfect Meal, or see the wilds of Alaska, or go to Canada, or Greece, or Spain, or Ireland, Scotland. But those hovered in the background, sort of a “If I had a lot of extra time and if family and friends could be with me while doing those things.”
I tell you what. When you finally sit in that doc’s office and find out how everything has been one big fuck-up and you are not “Sick” but instead A-danged-O.K., the sun shines brighter, the trees sway sweeter, the air enters your lungs and goes into your healthy body all Yippee! And there is such a feeling of gratitude for your health—because, you know there are so many who walk out of that doctor’s office with the news you thought you were going to hear and you fear for them, ache for them, but honestly you are so glad you are not one of them. At least not today. Not tomorrow. Probably not next week. So, yeah. Pass the YEEHAAAWS and the Hot Damns!
As for that list, well . . . huhn. Yeah. We’ll see. *grin*