Candy Cane

This dropped out of the pantry today when I pulled out a snack. It was way in the back.

It fell and sat on the floor, looking up at me crookedly, sweetly,* ready to tie together two recent posts, one of the super-heavy variety, about my husband’s terminal illness, the other, light and playful about my child. This candy cane called me to talk about parenting a small child and giving care to a dying man at the same time.

You people must hate me. I’m a schizophrenic with these themes, and I know they affect your emotions because you tell me so. I can’t help it. It’s the nature of the creative beast, Shiva the destroyer and creator are in the same body, always. But still, apologies for the mood swings.

During the period when there could be nothing on the floor – because Gavin was at such serious risk of falling from his near-broken spine, then the surgery, then the surgery’s failing – Christmas arrived.

And we had a darling little girl, about 20 months old, walking and running and chattering all around. Sharing her intelligence everywhere through analogies.

She grabbed a candy cane and walked around the dining room with it, stooping to match how close it was to the floor. She laughed. We all laughed.

Gavin’s cane was black and much larger. (It was one of the last "clothing"-type things I donated to charity after he died, though I couldn't look at it.). His mother had one, too. My toddler's little cane joke reminded me I was the only able-bodied person in the household most days. But how could you not laugh?

We always laughed, and it wasn’t just denial, it was a good observation of the world around her, no sign of doom, not portentous, not serious. Bless my child for seeing, for not understanding, and for laughing.

*I’m really sorry. Yeah, okay, not really. (But sorry for not being sorry. I know.).

* * * I'd be honored to hear your response in a comment or through other connection (Facebook, Twitter, Formspring, at right) * * *


annie said...

It's funny how people assume that living with a dying person must be like a Lifetime Movie for Women - full of tears and courage in the face of tragedy. If there's laughter at all, it's the poignant kind that brings spiritual growth and affirmation - blah, blah, blah.

Aside from the caretaking, the medical stuff, and ... the dying thing, being married to someone who is terminally ill is still just being married. Holidays come and go, kids grow, work gets done.

Don't apologize for the theme issue. I have it too and sometimes I feel bad for not writing more about the before times and also for not writing more about what moving on can be, is.

Here's a topic for you: getting over it. Loaded. (I actually am according to my own definition but those words are fightin' words to most widowed folk.)

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Yeah, I don't know if I feel comfy with those words either, but I have started posts on similar topics a dozen times.

We TOTALLY have to do an interview.

Does email work for you?

annie said...

Yep, I'll send it to you via Twitter.

J-in-Wales said...

Don't apologise about the mood swings - they just go with the territory. If you were to ask me, I would probably say that I am plodding along on the same level, but when I look back at my blog posts, they are up and down like a tart's knickers. I keep telling myself that it really will level out one day ...


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