I had a dream a few months ago; I don't think I blogged about it. It was one of those symbolic dreams that's so obvious, you wake up and immediately say, "duh, what was that about?" with sarcasm dripping from your thoughts.
My family was going about our business -- cleaning up dishes, getting dressed, watching television -- and all the while, a tiger was weaving in and out, all around us. All of us knew that he was there. We all knew that at any moment, he could turn and viciously bite -- and kill -- any of us. But in this dream, we did nothing. We knew that there was nothing to do. We couldn't lead the tiger away, we couldn't kill the tiger. We simply had to exist with the tiger walking around us, in and out, circling one or the other. Little Warrior was there, too, going about her business. We didn't try to hold her away from the tiger -- we knew we couldn't. We had to just act normal, not look the tiger in the eyes, and act as if he weren't there.
Some days, it's easier than normal, living with the tiger. Little Warrior is SO fat and healthy looking, and such a bundle of spirit. Ye Gods, the spirit. The spirit that will cause her to throw a screaming meanie fit if her siblings go outside and she doesn't get to. The spirit that will decide that RIGHT NOW, Mama must sit down and nurse her, even though Mom just heated up her lunch and was just about to take a bite of hot vegetable curry. And Mom will find herself, just as she did with other children, grumbling martyr-like, that Of Course She Isn't Allowed to Eat Her Lunch, She Doesn't Deserve It. And getting irritated at Little Warrior. God's in His heaven, all's right with the world.
On those days, I can bump against the tiger, and not even notice. Was that the couch I bumped against?
And then there are the days ... you hear that the tiger in the next house has attacked its occupant. Someone has relapsed. Someone who was originally given a "favorable histology" path is given another biopsy and hears "unfavorable/anaplastic." Their tiger has them under his paw.
And then, you hear every breath the tiger takes. You hear every step. He stops to sniff Little Warrior, and you grow cold with fear. She has dark circles under her eyes. Does that mean ... She's fighting a yeast infection, which she did before diagnosis, does that mean ...
You're happy right now, and the bulbs are emerging through the pine needles, and the sky is blue. You're thinking about the future.
Does that mean.
And the tiger stretches out. And yawns.