My Brain Is Trying To Be It All, Hold It All, Know It All, Balance It All

brain cactus

Image by califmom via Flickr

It’s not working. This is not a surprise to me. I know my brain. We’ve been together for over forty years now. I ask a lot of it. Not so much of my body, but my brain, yes.

I ask it to manage the input of all the knowledge about Bob’s cancer. Even the things he doesn’t know. The statistics. The ugly, ugly statistics. I push them to the corners over my ears. I feel the pressure there now.

I ask my brain to manage my emotions--the emotions that are fighting to fall apart when I want to explain to my kids that these are the last two nights they’ll see daddy before, before…see, before what? I don’t want to finish that sentence. I has two endings. Neither one wants to come out of my mouth.

I put my brain in charge of choosing the best option.

I put my brain in charge of planning our accommodations for tomorrow night, the logistics of the next two days, the finishing up of the laundry, kids’ schedules, meals for my dad and the kids while I’m gone. I let my brain handle the limbo that lies ahead.

Then, at night, when I lie down to sleep, my brain tells me what’s up by spinning the room around in circles like a tilt-o-whirl. I grab for my iPhone to have some kind of light to use to anchor myself in space, to make the spinning stop. My brain says, “thank you.”

Together, my brain and I read something unrelated to our life until we drift off into dreams we’d rather not remember, listening to the sounds of a husband straining to breathe as the cancer comes racing back.

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The Family Tard Cart

If I could afford it, this would be our family car.


Instead of shirking away from the word retarded, we embrace it. Steal it’s power back.

If this was our car, we’d paint “Family Tard Cart” on the side in gothic letters and cruise around town with pride.

Why? Because that’s who we are. We’re all special. And we rock. We have acronyms and long words after our names like ASD, TS, OCD, ADD, and Depression, and Migraine, and Fibromyalgia, and we’re crazy homeschoolers, too. Oh, Lord!

I think it’s high time the special needs population reclaimed the words used against them.

It wasn’t that long ago that “queer” was an insult. Now there’s a Queer Nation.

Not so many decades ago, my son would have been locked away, considered possessed in some cultures. My daughter would have been thought too nervous and fragile. I would have been kept on the upper floor, never seen, and seldom referred to. Now, thanks to modern medicine, and education, we roam free. Scary, huh?

There’s no reason our short bus has to be ugly. There’s no reason for us to hide in shame. There’s no reason for us to let words like “retard” belong to our enemies.

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