Tear after tear, after tear.
That’s all my evening had been. Just a stream of fluid leaving my face that I probably wouldn’t manage to stop until I fell asleep from exhaustion or drowned in it like Alice in Wonderland re-written Grimm style.
Health scares were never meant to hit this close to home. Things like that just didn’t happen to you, and you prayed and lived in ignorance to avoid it.
Obviously we hadn’t prayed enough. A false Catholic upbringing must have finally bought karma around to kick our life wide open. I wasn’t a bit bothered by religion when I was younger, but as I had grown older I fell into faith enough to pray. Every time I did I would imagine a little stream going from my head up into a childish, cloudy Heaven, where it formed a T.V. set in a field of countless T.V. sets. As I spoke, the words would flash on the screen and I hadn’t decided if the God I imagined sitting in a big red armchair could hear them as well as see them. But I always imagined that he would stop and pick my T.V. to watch as I jumbled things out like he wasn’t someone I was certain I should speak to like the Queen…
I had never prayed for my family still with me. It had never occurred to me as I sometimes asked for help, or just slightly demanded that God should keep the ones that had passed on happy, because he had taken them from people who loved them.
Maybe I should have.
Maybe I should have prayed every day for the family I loved, not just intermittently popped up for things I felt I needed Him to listen to.
Better yet, for all I knew I shouldn’t have even bothered praying, or wishing God himself happiness and goodnight, when things like this could still happen.
How could I keep a faith I barely even clung to during easy times in my life?
Before I’d even begun to question though, I had cried and curled up in my duvet, desperately sending him a plea to let everything be fine. All I had said was please. I begged.
Then, I had tried to wipe away the tears and sleep, as my family slept silently in the room over the landing. Even if they didn’t sleep, I wanted them to. I wanted them to sleep through whatever pain they were feeling, even if I couldn’t sleep through my own attempts of empathising and terrifying myself as a trade. They didn’t deserve any of it. Not now and not ever.
It wasn’t a pain they should ever have to feel, the loss of someone and the prospect of losing another. While it was still only tests and precautions, it was peeling away my sanity, as well as my sister’s and since my parents weren’t ones to talk, I wouldn’t really completely know how they felt because I wasn’t one to ask either. I didn’t understand how to ask someone what was wrong, nor did I know how to offer help besides trying to find a way to make them smile.
Then, I didn’t know how I could try and help my parents smile when all I could do myself was cry, because it wasn’t just their pain. It was mine. It was something I was feeling too.
It was easy for me to drag someone else out of their pain, or at least attempt it, because I never understood their feelings, even if I had been through similar situations. When it came to dragging myself and my family too, it felt hopeless.
I remembered a phrase I had written just on the upside of the lowest part of a soul crushing break up. I had decided to be strong and carry on, to turn my back on three years and a stint of endless crying and hurting myself, in the hope that it would fix me; It would mean that I never broke that badly again.
I wanted to scream it so many times. I had even wanted to make it a lyric, one that I would rip out of my heart every time I screamed it just so that it could act as a personal mantra and defence mechanism against anything coming for me. I had planned to ink it into my skin as a heavy duty armband to have a physical reminder.
I would scream it at everything facing me now, because if my family needed strength then I would give it. I would have it, even if inside, I had broken.
You won’t break me,
See me bleed,
Or bring me to my knees.