“Mom.” From the hospital bed, Marika shamelessly waved a foot at me and flashed a pathetic frown. Foot-rub time.
“It has to be a short one. I have to write a paper for my class,” I said.
“Why don’t you pull the cancer card?” she yawned.
“Cancer card? What’s a cancer card?” I asked. She smiled with closed eyes, and wiggled her toes in anticipation of the foot-rub.
“Just tell your teacher your daughter has cancer, Mom. Then you won’t have to work so hard.”
There were times I did “pull the cancer card,” and later, the my-daughter-died-of-cancer card. Like once when a cop stopped me for speeding. Like several Decembers, when I wanted to get out of shopping for gifts, knowing gift-giving and holiday music could trigger major emotional meltdowns.
It has never been easy to simply give myself a pass, even if it’s a long overdue or desperately needed break. Like the Energizer Bunny, I keep busy, kick myself outta the house to keep going, going, going…. But sometimes one just needs to call a time-out. Especially when your head gets whacked.
On Thursday I got whacked. I allowed a stupid disappointment to immobilize me for two days. I blew the whole rest of the week off because someone blew me off. No warning. No message, no returning my calls. There was no way to sit still and write. The only thing I could do with any volition at all, was eat.
Still reeling from the experience, I need time to recharge. My cancer cards have expired; too many of my friends are dealing with cancer now for me to be excusing myself like that. So I’m pulling a new mini-crisis permission slip, to get myself out of trying to produce a masterpiece this week. Hopefully it will also cover me for why this photo, an oldie but goodie, doesn’t match what I’ve written.
Got any tricks to offer for how to relax and cut loose once in a while?