What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday I was on the verge of hysteria for what felt like the entire day. I was barely able to hold back sobs throughout most of the day. And even when I was, I still felt like a zombie. I had to remind myself to respond when people spoke to me. I had to consciously choose to interact with my children instead of just curling up in a ball on the couch and zoning out to Thursday night television. I had to make myself do normal things like eat and shower and wear clothes other than my pj’s.

Today is a whole different game however. Today everything has gone back to feeling utterly surreal. It’s been easy today to allow myself to forget that my dad has lung cancer. Today it was pretty easy to just hang out with a girl friend while coloring The Girl’s hair pink and bringing my hair color back to black instead of the mousy brown it had become. It was pretty easy to just sit and talk about anything that crossed our minds instead of feeling like I had to focus on the fact that my dad is dying. And it is that ease that has brought back the surreal feeling to the whole thing. I mean, if it is that easy to go back to normal conversation two days after getting the prognosis, then can it really be as bad as we thought? In fact, if it is that easy, can it really be happening at all?

I mean, my rational mind knows that just because my own internal coping mechanism took over for a day to save me from being crushed under the threatening wave of sorrow, doesn’t mean that the whole thing isn’t happening. The wave is still there and at some point it will start building speed again until it comes crashing down on my head and sends me flailing under water gasping for breath and thrashing about for footing. I know that it’s there and it’s ok. Because I have some time to board up the windows and doors. To sandbag the foundations. And most importantly, it’s ok because I know how to swim.

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