Brittle

The Summer I had radiation treatment for thyroid cancer, I yelled at my grandmother over a card game.

To be fair, I have always hated UNO.

After the primeval shriek, storming out of the kitchen and bursting into tears in my bedroom, my dad came in and sat on my bed to tell me that he took the fall for my outburst, told my grandma that I was upset with him and that’s why I’d gone bananas. I really appreciated that – I still do; it is a gleaming, gold-star parenting moment that stands out so much in my memory. My dad also told me that I was probably stressed about my upcoming radiation and that was okay, and in that moment I realized it was true – I was scared.

That day I learned sometimes being strong makes your mind forget how fragile you are, but the heart always knows, and this secret knowledge leaks out sometimes in the strangest of ways. I remembered it also this Summer. Back when I was 6 weeks along I started bleeding just a bit, and I spent that day SO aware that my pregnancy could be over almost as soon as it had begun. The weight of holding it in through a day of work and a visit with a friend meant I burst into tears when I got home – there was some trigger that I’ve forgotten now, but it doesn’t matter what it was because the crisis was inside me, not to do with tripping over a shoe or the dog peeing on the floor.

This week I’ve recognized the same unsettled feeling, realized that something is off, that I feel an emotional storm building up, but I’m not sure where it’s coming from. Matt has a meeting this Saturday that should settle some up-in-the-air stuff to do with his job. I think that however things turn out we are at peace, but it’s tough to wait. Also this week I went to a Bible study at my church, and I am more conflicted about that than I expected to be. The group was really welcoming, the study was interesting and good for me, and I can easily catch a ride home on nights that Matt has the car. But I’m scared and I don’t know exactly why – all I know is that I feel brittle inside.

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