Friday, December 28, 2018
I'm lying on my bed, next to Carl, who is going through his gorgeous photos -- birds flying everywhere, diving into water with perfect droplets making ripples, a whale breached in a sea of blue and my mind is lazy drifting except for one tiny fight there off in a corner, the corner of care. Care. Taking care. Sophie is getting her infusions of immunoglobulin this morning, her last treatment of the year and I've forgotten to tell Mirtha that she doesn't need to come until later because Nurse Hyo is here but they're all here and so this fight this tiny little fight in my tiny little mother mind™ commences, even as I lie in languor on my bed or because I lie in languor on my bed with birds and whales and nodding flowers. Everyone is always living their best life, I've said bitterly a few times in the last few weeks. And this is mine. The fight is small but it is mighty in that corner of my mind. Letting others take care of Sophie without feeling guilty, perhaps envious, even, of their facility. I stood next to Nurse Hyo and held Sophie's arm down, so thin that it really takes only two of my own fingers to span it, the vein so tiny yet so resistant. Two sticks and the rising bile, I turn my head away and curse the nurse in my mind, curse all of them or Them, with emphasis. Is that the smallest needle? I manage to get out through my teeth, the words float there between us, a rhetorical question that I instantly regret. The nurse is unperturbed, her face placid, or at least I imagine her to be. She is taking care. The needle slides pokes yet the vein slips, you can see it under the skin yet the blood flows and she's in (in the body! the body of my daughter!) and deftly tapes over it, connects the bag of antibodies to it, this entry into the body, through the skin and impossible vein, the fragile body of my daughter. It's a strange confluence of the barbaric and something nearly futuristic except that it's now. I'm only now imagining the nurse's own mind filled with something other -- her own birds and whales, maybe, the lunch she'll have later, how these people are trials to get through. How I cannot get out from under the blanket of care of my nagging dislike of its constancy of how it looms, always. A tiny fight in the corner, over there, even as I kneel in gratitude over here at the care at the gifts this life has brought or that come with.