Awake way too early, convoluted and anxious dreams fading but leaving a stain. Cold, cold, cold going to bed last night, could not get warm, up several times to add blankets and socks, even after D piled a few more covers on. Woke much later, overheated and weighed down with blankets and a velcro cat. Disturbed sleep giving way to irritated wakefulness. Gave up and got up, tea and cereal, D joining me in a similar state of mind.
We are both worriers. We chew at puzzles, care how our friends are doing, strive to understand and solve and repair and prevent problems. As such, we call each other if we are going to be late, knowing the other will be concerned. We are imaginative, and the worst always comes to mind. We try not to succumb to it, but stuff happens, and we want to respond helpfully if it does.
Other people are often not reassuring to us. Most of our friends, and D's family, are, as we most affectionately put it, flaky. They are often late, don't call, cancel plans with no notice - and no awareness that they have inconvenienced anyone. It's never malicious, not intended to be offensive. They just aren't worriers, so they don't empathize. This is probably good for us, all in all. Keeps us from sinking too deep into anxiety, letting some of it go, aware that we have a bit too dark of a view on the world. They are all kind, caring, funny folks, who if asked would help us without question. But we are both glad we live with someone more attentive and chronically early. Pessimists at heart. We who savor good fortune as a rare treat.
Thinking about my Aunt Evelyn, near the end. An ache over the years since. I urged my mother to call as soon as she knew, to let me know, "even if it's two in the morning, call me," let me share her loss with you, don't leave me out of her death, since I cannot be there. Mom called two days after Aunt Evelyn died. If she'd said she was just too upset to call me earlier, I would have understood that. Instead she says "I didn't want you bothered, I knew you were busy." Yeah, I was busy, worrying that my dear Aunt was suffering so long, as well as working long hours on liver transplants. (Aunt Evelyn died of a liver tumor.*) My mother's actions felt so condescending, after I'd expressly stated my desire to be included, as though that would save me from grief, as though her own grief for her sister had nothing to do with it.
As though I'd never washed the dead. As though I couldn't picture all too well what she was enduring.
So we tumble against each other, smoothing the rough spots, and breaking away chunks to leave scars. Both together. The hardest rocks sometimes crack apart, the most delicate flowers bloom among the rocks every spring.
*A cholangiocarcinoma, that metastasized to her liver. At least I had the right surgeons around to explain the disease, since the third hand information I was getting was so garbled.