One step forward, two steps back. It’s what I say to people when they ask how I am or we are. Some days we smile and make funny jokes and feel the hope of spring on our faces. At other times the pain is right under the surface like a jellyfish waiting to sting. Some days the pain is palpable like a muscle spasm that never goes away.
Most days the tears are behind my blue eyes and I have to hold my breath and shut my eyes tight to hold it all together, to make it through the next meeting, the next treatment group, the next conversation, the next minute. Sometimes I can’t hold it in no matter how hard I try and I make the excuse that the wind and cold burned my eyes. Now that it’s warmer, I wonder what I’ll come up with to hide my pain.
And in the midst of the emotional pain of seeing my child in my pain, I have the physical pain of a herniated disc in my low back. It’s as if God said, here’s the whole weight of everything my child, carry it with all the strength you have and my body said, nahhh I’m done. So I sit with the pain, try and learn from the pain, curse the pain, accept the pain, try and make peace with the pain. Around and around like a hora.
So maybe the idea is to the lessen the weight by letting people carry some with me. But I’m not ready yet. For now it is my burden and I will carry it or die trying. Which is melodramatic because nobody ever died of a herniated disc. So for now I’ll just keep dancing, one step forward and two back. But not to a country tune because that’s just wrong.