Tuesday, February 14, 2012

...And in the End



photo courtesy of visboo - beautiful examples of animal love 


On days when my sorrow feels too heavy, I go to bed early. But my dreams do not grant me the escape that I need...

I am on the operating table. My surgery is complete. My chest is bandaged tightly. My breathing tube is out. The doctors have left the room. One nurse remains. She is busy putting instruments away.  Her back is to me.  Her phone rings.  She takes the call.

She is laughing.
Loudly.

She does not see that I am choking on my own vomit.

I travel upward.  It's a fast flight forward through space and time.  I look back and see the paddles pressed against my chest. My body jumps from the jolt. I look forward and see my son. Beside him is my father. 

"Go back!" they yell. 

They won't let me touch them. I move forward and they step back. 

"Go back!" they yell louder. 

Without speaking I tell them I don't want to go back

"Lindsay (my daughter) needs you!" shouts my son.

She barely tolerates me, I tell him (without speaking).

"Mark loves you," says my father. 

He will find another, I tell him (without speaking).

"JACKSON!!!" screams my son.  

Jackson (my grandson)... I think about Jackson.  He is young, only 10.  My daughter is 21.  My husband is a man.  Jackson... can I leave Jackson? 

He'll be fine, I tell him (without speaking).  You said so yourself in the letter you wrote to him ...  

Dear Son, 

     
I am writing this to you on the tenth day of your life, the tenth day since you entered this world of ours, the tenth day since you brought the sun and so many smiles.  It's also my first full day and night away from you, but I'd rather not think about that right now.  I was forced to leave Wilkes-Barre and come back to work in Greenwich again, just as I have throughout your Mother's pregnancy.  Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence.

Because of work, because I somehow transformed into a somewhat "responsible" human without my noticing, I was not by your Mother nearly enough throughout her pregnancy because I believed establishing a financial foundation was the responsible thing to do for your future.  The "truth" remains to be seen, though I doubt the phrase should even be used in a matter so conflicting in its nature as to combat love against logistics.  It's an argument I will never win for either side of my brain, and I really have no idea how things will end up, or where we will all end up. The fact is that your Mother acted so truly brave the last nine months, never complaining, always smiling like the beautiful angel she is.  She has become my hero, and if things go as I hope she will be my wife very soon.  I love your Mother with all of my heart.  We are both lucky to have her.

Your future is infinite, so purely and clearly infinite.  I had always hoped and believed that when I finally had my first child I would have some important piece of wisdom to be able to give you, some magical answer I would stumble upon at some point that would be passed on to you eventually.  But I have nothing like that to give you.  Life is not like that.  There is no simple answer or magical secret.  The only conclusion I have come to in my life is to live.  It's something we often forget.  But live, Jackson.  I once told your Mother to live and burn, and that is also what I hope for you.  May stars fall gently upon the sea you choose to sail, my son.  

Be good, 
                   
Dad

P.S.  Read!!! Read everything you can get your hands on.  And remember what Mark Twain said..."Man is a fool, but woman, for putting up with him, is a damned fool." That means always treat your Mom like the queen she is, and remember that we are inferior to women because no man has ever been able to even slightly comprehend any woman that has ever lived. 


"You haven't learned your lessons!" shouts my father.
I hate it when my father shouts.
"You'll have to come back and do them all over again." 

What lessons? I ask.

No one is speaking. 

What lessons!!! I shout.


Dammit... I so don't want to repeat the self loathing, the self doubt, the clueless, selfish, fear driven suffering.  

I go back. 
I go back. 

I am on the operating table. My eyes are open. The light above me is bright. The room is full of people - doctors, nurses, rushing.  Everyone is rushing.  My husband is in the corner, crying.  

I am not breathing. 
My heart is not beating. 
My skin grows cold.  Cold and gray. 

It is too late.



Happy Valentines Day

xo, MonkeyME

44 comments:

  1. Some beautiful and powerful writing here.

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    1. Jayne, means so much to me - your words. Thank you!

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  2. Your dreams and your writing are taking you to some very dark places indeed. You are a brave woman, but you deserve some peace and comfort, too! I hope that during part of each day you can surround yourself with lovely music, flowers, candles, soft fabrics, chocolate, whatever can help make life a little more enjoyable, even temporarily. Happy Valentine's Day and xo MonkeyYou.

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    1. I AM trying to be good to me but somedays I don't know what that means. Sleeping is the hardest. I can fall asleep but I can't stay asleep and so far, my nightmares are driven by my fears. Once fears go - nightmares go?

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  3. That was so touching. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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    1. Thank you Dazee! I appreciate all the prayers I can get!

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  4. Oh me...that's what Mark Twain said about me and my kind is it! Have a wonderful and blessed day

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    1. Thank you DeanO!!!!!! (so my son wrote, I have yet to fact check it :)

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  5. That's not the ending I was expecting...or hoping for, from this dream of yours. But, who can control their dreams? We can only control (in part) that special dream that is called Our Life. Shannon, I know you are doing everything in your control to drop-kick that digusting catstir.....And it's outta there!...as the stadium-full of fans and friends jump to their feet, singing, dancing and cheering! :)

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    1. Love hearing from you Becky! tonight, I'll try to revamp the ending :) xoxo

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  6. I was stunned by the ending. I didn't want that. But, I know this is the way you are processing. They say it is only when we can accept our mortality that we truly start to live.

    I felt that within all the pain, fear and suffering you are enduring, you still thought of me (us - your readers). I interpret this as a call to live fully, and to love ourselves to the max, because that may just be the purpose of life.

    Thank you Shannon, for your writing, your insights. Blessings and be really, really loving to yourself.

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  7. Beautiful and dark. But beautiful none the less. Sending you virtual hugs. :)

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  8. Hey Shannon,

    Powerful stuff and I hope your writing is helping *you* in some small way.

    Happy Valentine's Day :)

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  9. Dreams of death are actually supposed to be very good omens. There are worse things than dying. The trick is to keep living through everything. This, you can do.

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  10. Shannon, you touched me, again and again.

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  11. YES you can LIVE through this. OK I will be selfish right now. I am not READY to let you go. We have much fun to be had together, my friend. XO Dreams are freaky...bring on the comforting dreams, please, my Shaneezy needs THOSE kind.

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  12. "And in the end... the Love you make... is equal to the Love you make."

    I was singing that long before I got to the end of the post... how strange.

    "You haven't learned your lessons!" shouts my father.

    "You'll have to come back and do them all over again."

    My friend, KP, is from India... Hindu. We have great conversations about Reincarnation. KP tells me that we are born to experience Life and to learn lessons... and that we are continually reborn and Live until we learn the lessons we were to have learned for that Life time. Apparently, your Dad has an insight into those lessons.

    Thank you SO much for sharing this with US, your readers.

    We love you...

    ~shoes~

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    1. ((((thank you shoes)))) yes, I believe in this as well and I am certain I have many lessons still to learn. When I was 23 I lost my hair and I needed to learn how to love myself despite of my appearance. I didn't learn that lesson. Now I will lose my hair and my breasts. Lets hope I get it right this time.

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  13. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    Poignant, thoughtful, and heart-breaking.
    Endure, woman.
    K

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  14. Live life. Burn in it. Passion is so often lacking...for experience, for work, for humanity. I met a man who could control his dreams. Then I asked myself, would I want to? I think he's a liar. They say also that we are every aspect of our dreams. To review them once as you, once as your husband, once as your father, etc. can often be eye opening. Lessons upon lessons upon lessons. Each day we are learning...alive and asleep.

    Big Hugs.
    ~Annie

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    1. sometimes my dreams are leftovers from the day or week. things that stick in my head that I have yet to process. I have been thinking a lot about my father, wanting him to visit me in a dream. my son did this twice. Once, the first one, was NOT a dream. It was so real. I felt his tears on my face and neck. He did not speak but I knew he was sorry and I knew that he loved me.

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  15. The generations thing is powerful here.

    Great stuff... and thanks for sharing it!

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    1. thanks Katy - that is the a real letter from my son (who's birthday would be tomorrow) to his son. I did the same when my son was born - wrote him a letter with the instructions that it should be given to him on his 18th birthday.

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  16. There is a battle to be won…we are fighters…warriors…conquerors…the fiercest battles are won from the mind…get in the mindset…

    Mark

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    1. Thank you MARK! I owe you a long letter. So appreciate your words, your prayers and your understanding!

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  17. I'll bet I'm the only one who recognized the title as a Beatles song before I read the article. I think "Here comes the sun" was on the same album. It's never too late.

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    1. I think you're right! :))))))) I also think it was the last phrase, in the last song, on the last album, even though it was released prior to Let it Be.

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  18. Hard to read this one honey, don't worry I'll assist in the operating room, nurse Suction Now!!

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    1. don't forget to wear your doctors coat, Dr. Cook! and for christ's sake, bring your glasses! :))))

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  19. Hi Green Monkey -- Blueberry left you a message about the cat toast at my blog post of Feb 10th. I don't know whether you and she have been in direct communication otherwise, so thought I'd let you know about her message.

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    1. thank you Debra! I soooo want to use that "cat toast" picture. I just had blogger delete a page of mine for using a picture without permission. so many rules!

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  20. Wow, that was powerful. I think your dream reflects everything you have been thinking about for the last few months. You might need a medication to help you sleep in a more restful way. You are in my thoughts...
    - 1 osugrl

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    1. I have to try the melatonin again... last night my father was alive but in the hospital. He left his room and crawled into bed with two other women. the women were old like he was. they didn't seem to mind.

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  21. All I got is hugs, girl. Those you can have in abundance.

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  22. way to write girl...keep it going.....

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  23. Shannon, thanks for sharing - esp your son's beautiful written letter(he must have gotten that from you!). Dreams are unfinished thoughts....and clearly you have a challenge to complete......choose LIFE. God is not done with you yet and he never gives you more than you can handle. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger!

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  24. Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day despite it all. HUG.

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  25. Shannon

    I SO get it.

    You friend, Bev

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  26. Incredibly moving. Thinking of you. So sorry I have been wrapped up in stupid crap here.

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  27. Oh. My. God. That was so powerful, Shannon. Everything about it. Gave me chills and tears and chills and tears. (Also, I arrived here on the heels of my comment on your HELP! post, so I was first struck by the absolute irony.) Whew!

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  28. Just catching up with you Shannon, as I had a blogging break and it is taking ages to catch up. I was so sorry to read your news. My thoughts are with you, hope you are coming through this dark patch by now.

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Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

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Photo by Joan Harrison