I have become a pretty closed off person, emotionally, the past 22 months. For the past almost 14 months I've been kind of angry too. Okay, very angry if I'm being honest and that is something that I kind of pride myself on. I'll be the first one to admit that I can be a bitch but I like to think that I'm a bitch to your face. Yes, I'm actually going somewhere with this.
When the kids started school I tried. I tried to open up to the other mom's. I tried my best to become even somewhat friendly with them. Hell, I even had a fucking play date with one of them which was painful but the kids had fun so I sucked it up and did it. That mom has since turned out to be something of a clingy stalker. I try to avoid her at all costs but in a small classroom it's pretty much impossible. When I drop off Asa in the morning she literally sits and waits in her car for me to pull up so she can follow us in to the room. She reminds me of that woman in the SNL skit where if you say you had a headache she had a headache that made her head explode. Anything you say, she's had/done it 10X better/worse than you. She's become my archenemy at Asa's school.
However, the person who I want to talk about is the one in Valentina's class. She's quite WASP-y, your typical (and I admit I'm using stereotypes, another part of me being a bitch in public) "good Catholic mom" with four kids, always calm and always seems to talk about how perfect her life is. For the longest time I had no idea what her name was, I just referred to her as "Mrs. Mom's Group" since all she talked about was "in mom's group we did this" or "in mom's group we discussed that" or "in mom's group so-and-so had this to say." She kept telling me how I needed to join mom's group at the church and how fantastic it is. It took everything I had to tell her there was no way in hell I was going to join her precious mom's group, that I took offense to her bumper sticker than says "avoid another Holocaust, choose life" and it takes a LOT to offend me. But again I tried. I tried to smile and bite my tongue until I had almost no tongue at all.
In the six moths that Valentina has been in school I did find out her name and I slowly began to make small talk with her while we waited in the hallway for class to be dismissed. I opened up to her and told her about my situation and sissy. She told me that her dad died when she was four. I began to look at her in a different light and realized we had more in common than I thought. I realized my angry snap judgements were probably wrong, although I still had to try to keep my eyes from rolling when she mentioned mom's group.
Last week when she came to pick up her child she looked different. Her clothes were the same, her walk was the same, her baby that she always brought with her was the same but I could see something different on her face. I asked her if she was ok and she informed me that her dad (obviously her mom remarried while she was young) was in the hospital. They found a tumor in his kidney, removed the entire kidney and the doctors were waiting for the pathology report but it looked like it was cancer. My heart opened up to her and I told her I was so sorry. I told her she could call me anytime but I also knew she had a sister she could lean on, which at one point had been yet another source of my anger towards her. Through no fault of her own I was pissed that she still had a sister and mine is gone.
Yesterday when I dropped off Valentina, Mrs. Mom's group announced to all of us that they had gotten the call from her dad's doctor, his tumor was benign. There was only a 10% chance that it wouldn't be cancer and he was the lucky 10%. All the moms and the teacheer offered their congratulations and praised God for all the answered prayers. I have been in a highly emotional fragile state for the past week to begin with so I just stood there, speechless as she went on and on about their miracle phone call.
My mind raced remembering our phone call. Tuesday, March 5, 2009 while at my house, sissy got her call from the doctor after her liver biopsy instructing her to come back to the office immediately.....and to bring her family. At the office she was told that it was, indeed, cancer in her liver. That was the call we got. Even the call saying her bone scan was clean was short lived. About two weeks later our phone call was that the cancer had spread to her bones.
Where was our miracle phone call?
Why weren't our prayers answered?
Why couldn't we be praising God?
I hugged Valentina goodbye and literally ran out of the classroom, not wanting anyone to see the tears and sobs that had already started. I had started to open my heart but it snapped shut like a Venus Flytrap.
All because of a phone call.