30 June 2005

The straw

I received the news of the planned surgery over the phone yesterday at work. My holidays start tomorrow. That was the straw. We’ve longed so for this summer. Getting some well deserved rest and spending some time together after the rough spring that we’ve had.

When I went to tell my colleagues what the doctor had said on the phone I fell apart. Snivelling and sobbing I tried to sum up the conversation. The lump in my throat swelled and my lips were trembling. I couldn’t hold back. The others didn’t quite know how to deal with the situation. Someone asked, “Is there anything we can do?” I could hardly speak but managed to press out. “Be compassionate. That’s all.” And then I locked myself in the bathroom.

To get through the first time in the hospital when Abbe was just born and went through surgery I decided to visualize a goal. I saw my wife, and myself tending to the tomatoes and the basil in the green house. Abbe lying on a blanket under a parasol and big brother running naked through the water sprinkler. “If we can only get to that point, all will be well”, I said to myself looking out on the grey March days.

 It may sound like an image out of one of those shiny and chirpy Jehova’s witness folders. The ones they try to force on you with their foot stuck in your door. But it worked for me, there and then. Something to long for in all the turmoil. And we had almost got there. Then that phone rang.

No comments: