Dad got great news.
His PSA levels are way, way down. Normal-down in fact. His cancer is responding to the hormone treatment.
We had a fight earlier this week.
He and Mum and I.
I am ashamed to admit that I:
a) decided to use some mediation techniques to ‘resolve the dispute’
b) forgot that I was talking to family members and was therefore part of ‘the dispute’
c) blew a fuse.
I am an arrogant fuckwit. You may well have always known that. I suspected but refused to acknowledge it.
Ach well. It all came good in the end. Mum stomped off feeling bruised and hurt; but reflected on some of the sensible stuff in the pre-anger exchange. Dad did not, after all, feel betrayed by me – though that feeling would have been justified. And I spent an evening worried I’d triggered a spectacular bout of ‘Mamie-fury’ (Mamie = my mother) and exposed my Father to its extremity.
In the end they had a peaceful loving night, talking out their fears and anxieties and reassuring one another.
Thing is, my parents have reacted to their respective cancers in a way that’s so out of character and which is so thoroughly confusing to me that I have just lost my bearings. I haven’t a clue what to do or say.
In some ways they seem to have swapped their usual ‘roles’. ‘Capable Mamie’ has become ‘incapable of dealing with reality-Mamie’. Dad – hitherto a gentle, passive, monosyllabic man whose life always seemed to be in Mamie’s hands – he’s become an unexpected beacon of strength and good sense.
This is very very so not how I thought it would be. I was wrong. I was so wrong. I was so wrong that I wonder if I hadn’t gotten it wrong all along?
Revisionism. Review of the past. Or my understanding of it. This is when I wish I was more Robert-like in my approach. If I were him I’d be able to accept that I got it wrong and that it really doesn’t matter and that there are more important things to be bothered about. And he’d be right. I can’t re-write the past. I can only deal with now. And now Mum and Dad have good news about their cancers and death is post-poned for another day. That is surely ‘a good thing’.
They are even making plans to do the 5 week road-trip of England, France, Italy and Spain I have been thinking about for next Summer….
Helen? I may need to rent your villa… x