Mom was admitted to the hospital on Friday. I threw up on Saturday. I think the two are related.
She called, just to keep me in the loop, it's nothing serious really, they just want to keep an eye on her. If I had some time could I visit? Because they haven't given her anything to eat or a room to stay in yet and she's starving. But when I have a minute. She doesn't want me to drop whatever it is I'm doing. It's no big deal, really.
Mom, don't you ever get sick of being the strong one, even when you're bleeding internally with infections in your blood and your lungs?
Of course I dropped whatever it was I was doing. And on my way out of the lab, I glared at the girl across from me - who I had told about Mom, and who was now whining because she just wants to go to the gym and she doesn't have a hair tie and how can she go to the gym now?
At least you're going to the gym and not a hospital.
We sat together, she trying to look not-sick, me trying to look not-worried. How many times will we have to play these roles?
I said goodbye, left, stopped, went back, bought her books, said goodbye again, got on the subway and got angry at the tears in my eyes.
And then I was back at the house with her medical equipment in it, alone on the first floor, and it was over before I knew what was happening. Cookies and ice cream, in and out, 30 minutes total. Easy, too easy, still, after all these months trying. Too easy to return to. But I know that. I know it might start at 30 minutes, but it won't take long, if I let it, to start carving out hours of my day, wasting it on eating and un-eating.
Maybe I need to just make sure I'm not alone with Mom still being in the hospital.