Sitting in a lonely supposedly Thai café but menu seems more like Malaysian, I pull out my mini tab to start writing /typing. I think of continuing my writing on my trip to China, but I realise that today was not the day. I am on edge, even though everything has gone alright so far. So I think to write about, ‘waiting’ – waiting for a bus, waiting at the airport, waiting for medical results and waiting for your son to come out of surgery”.
It was a very early morning start. But I think I had already become jittery by last night. I laughed it out loud, hoping no one picks up on my nervous energy. I want to be strong. In my head I know the data, statistics and the logic. However this mother’s heart seems to skip all logic and starts tearing up each time she is alone.
I don’t know what to write about. All I know is that I need to write or do something. So here I am debating what to write about.
What age is too old to worry about your kid? I know he is not 2, but he is still my kid, I didn’t love him any more when he was 2 and I don’t love him any less just because he is legally an adult now. He is still my kid. Am I a neurotic mum? Yes, maybe.
This Jasmine tea is really good. It really has a calming effect. Not sure if it is the Tea or the writing, but I think the tightness in my chest is reducing. I am tearing up writing though, thankfully the cafe is empty, however I like to believe that this activity here is helping.
So how old is a kid? How old is your kid? Sleepless nights-your baby is up for a feed and a nappy change, Sleepless nights – your toddler is teething, tantrums, sleepless nights – your teenager hasn’t returned home, restless nights – your young man is sitting for exams. Proud mum moments – you are pregnant, the beginning of the worries and pride, unforgettable moment-the big day arrives, after screams and pain killers arrives the bundle of joy – undoubtedly an unforgettable moment/event that marks as the starting point of the roller coaster for the proud parents. Proud moments – your baby’s first step, first time to call you ‘mum’, first day at school, he graduates. So does it end there? Afraid not.
It’s not about letting go. I have let him go, I am proud that he has left the cocoon, spread his wings and soured high. But this mother cannot stop worrying.
I know it’s not my fault that he is in hospital now. I have been told that by everyone repeatedly and I get that. But, I still feel terrible. Even if it was not my fault, do I want him to go through what I went through? I would go through it again ten times over, than have my baby on that operating table. But, whoever/whatever well in this case a mutated gene dictates otherwise. Yes, I get that, we have turned the unfortunate to fortunate. It was unfortunate that I had the cancer, however it was fortunate that I had this cancer as now we can prevent it for my boys.
Logic is still playing second fiddle while waiting for that phone call to say my boy is out of theatre. I start walking. I get to Princes Highway. I start walking, I end up at Greenwood Plaza which is connected to the North Sydney Station. Peek hour commuters embark from the trains and walk past me with high pace. Each one rushing off, unable to spare even single second. I was one of them just two decades ago.
Here I am, who has quit her job, tossed her career without a moments regret. Observing this crowd, I realise, how much we change, how our priorities change as per our age and circumstances. Nothing matters, when it comes to your kids.
I glance at my phone to see if I had missed the phone call from the hospital. No missed calls. I aimlessly walk through my favourite shops. I realise, shopping can only be a hobby not a distraction. The latest design nor the best deals seem to grab me. I got back to Princes Highway and started walking in the opposite direction. Not sure how long I walked for or how far I walked for. But after sometime I thought it was time to head back to the hospital. Maybe they forgot to call me.
Weeks later we went to see my son’s surgeon, whose clinic is in St Leonards. I recognized that place and told my son I had come there on the day of his surgery. That’s when I realised that there are two stations between North Sydney and St. Leonard’s . Obviously this is a new source of humour for my son on my account. My son didn’t initially believe that I had walked that much or for what. I explained that I just kept walking along Princes Highway. So, now every time we have a destination to go via Princes Highway he would suggest that I just walk it. Yes, he does think that my anxiety and worry was unwarranted. But he is no parent. (Princes Highway is a major road in Aus extends from NSW to South Australia along the coast roughly about 1980 kms).
I enquire at the reception re my son’s progress. She sends me to the ward that my son will be admitted to after the surgery. The nurse at the ward was a sweetheart. Obviously another mother. She explains to me that my son was taken in late and hence the delay in coming out of theatre . That explains the long wait. It still was no cure for a jittery mother. Her kind words and empathy were helpful though. She takes me to the carers waiting room/lounge.
My tablet and phone were on the last bars of battery power. The sweetheart nurse shows me to a small room off the lounge where I could charge my electronics. I think doctors heal your ailment and the nurses complete it with healing your heart.
I am alone once again in a small room. Although we detest solitude, it is still necessary. It plays an important part in reasoning , analysing and self healing. I lasted all of ten minutes or maybe less with that philosophy. I leave my phone and tablet to charge and join the rest of the zombies in the carer lounge. The TV was on with same old, same old – someone was shot, a politician said something controversial, hurricane in Japan, some celebrity that no one knows or cares about is now engaged and another divorced, but still no news about my son.
There was no Jasmin tea in the waiting area. I make a mental note to myself, that I should add that to the “suggestions/complains” on the discharge form. I was pretty sure another cup of Jasmin Tea is what I needed. Not wanting to unplug my electronics I settle for a black tea and for some more of the world news. The world seems to continue even with all the atrocities and disasters. I finally get a call from the anesthetic to say that my boy has done well. And that is my world. We have our set backs. But life has a way of working out in the end. My boy will get through this. we will get through this.