Friday, February 24, 2012

Innocense Lost

Pray God You Can Cope
I'll Stand Outside
This Woman's Work
This Woman's Worth
Ooh, It's Hard On A Man

The two young boys bounced a rubber ball back and forth as Alex sat in the chair. His legs pumped up and down, and he repositioned himself nervously every few seconds. His eyes cast down as if he could stare intently enough to lighten his burden.

His wife was also under my care. At the moment, she was enduring her weekly dose of poison directed at a few unwieldy breast cells, but wreaking bystander havoc on her whole body.

She was in the mist of the roughest patch. The oncologist had told them that her chances were even at best. Alex, filled with anxiety, bore the weight of the family. The kids still needed to eat, go to school, and show up on time for soccer practice.

Alex tried to keep a semblance of calm in a world that was falling apart around him.

I Should Be Crying But I Just Can't Let It Show,
I Should Hoping But I Can't Stop Thinking

How would he survive without her? How would he carry on the monumental task of bringing up two small children alone?

Sitting in the exam room for his appointment, neither of us felt like talking. I waited for Alex to show some sign that he was ready. I pushed over a box of Kleenex and he cleared his throat. Nothing came out.

No matter what happened, their lives were forever changed. Even if she survived the initial battle, the hidden threat would remain coursing through her body like a feral animal. It waited to pounce when her defenses were low, and snuff out all signs of misplaced hope.

All The Things We Should've Said That I Never Said,
All The Things We Should Have Done That We Never Did,
All The Things We Should've Given But I Didn't

Alex didn't know then, what we both know now. That years later his wife would be alive and healthy. I see Alex once a year for a physical. It only takes moments to realize that something irretrievable has been lost. His undying optimism has been replaced by stoic acceptance.

He has his wife, but his innocence is gone. His sleep will never be as peaceful.

Oh Darling Make It Go,
Make It Go Away...

*Lyrics taken from This Woman's Work, versions sung by Maxwell and Kate Bush

No comments: