Monday, March 12, 2012
I Am a Fragile Person
My name is Anne and I am a fragile person. It's taken me awhile to admit it, but I've finally come to realize that I'm like an egg with the tiniest of cracks. All it takes these days is the slightest bump for all my gooey, messy insides to come pouring out.
I guess the first time I realized I was a fragile person was during my pregnancy which is funny because it also began the time in my life when I felt the most powerful. It was a different sort of fragility than I live in now. It was an exciting and hopeful fragility - and it was a hormone-induced one. Even though my husband received his cancer diagnosis only days after we discovered I was pregnant, our life then was much more overrun by baby fever than cancer fear. We had our moments for sure, but unless he told you or mentioned having to go for a chemo treatment, you wouldn't have even known what he was battling.
My fragility now is very different. It is a fragility rooted in loss with forever love as its trunk and many happy memories as its leaves. A true conundrum.
It is a fragility that makes me cry at the emergence of my son's next tooth (his first since his Daddy passed) and respond with biting sarcasm when a friend makes a slight modification to our plans to hang out.
The messy goo in my cracked egg can pour out at obvious moments (like at the Memorial Service I went to on Saturday) or in the most unexpected time or place (like when I notice the chocolate cupcakes that were my husband's in the cupboard while packing my son's lunch).
Sometimes it's when I get the mail or when I hear a song or when I see a TV show or watch a movie or drive somewhere we used to go or hear a phrase he used to say or see coverage of the Mets or the Giants. Well, you get the point - it's anytime or anyplace.
It's being told how cool it is that I have a MegaTouch game in my basement or finding out that The Afghan Whigs are reuniting after 13 years. It's going into Tastee Sub and not ordering a half of a #1 or into
Sansone's and wondering who the heck is going to help me finish this pizza. It's tipping the delivery guy a little extra because well, Joe used to be a delivery guy too. It's getting a dollar bill with my change and remembering how in college we stubbornly mailed a $1 bill back and forth and back and forth through campus mail.
It's Boston and Florida, London and Washington DC, LBI and the Poconos and everywhere in between. It's a Ford Bronco or a Corvette or a Scion or a Civic Si. It's any number or bars or restaurants or streets. It's every giggle from my son's mouth and every time he brushes his hair.
I'm a fragile person finding my way through each hour of each day with thousands of reminders that threaten to break me, resulting in that geyser of tears.
I'm a fragile person who finds comfort in knowing other fragile people and in accepting my own reality. I am learning that it's ok to be fragile. In fact, it has made my relationships deeper, my spiritual life more exciting, and has challenged me to relinquish a bit of the control I thought I had over my life. These have all been life changing things.
Now that you know I'm a fragile person, I ask you this favor - be mindful of us cracked eggs roaming around the hustle and bustle of life. We don't come with signs on our forehead about who we are so be kind whenever you can. Be sensitive to those who may not want to hear all the details about your wonderful, amazing husband or the grand vacation you are planning with your children and their families. And, most importantly, if we get bumped and all that gooey messy stuff comes pouring out of our egg, offer a tissue and a shoulder and let us have a good cry. It may be just what we need.