Archive for September, 2010

On blubbing

In a long life, I don’t thing I have ever cried so much as I have in the past few weeks – since I knew I have incurable cancer. It’s really quite strange: I can be going along quite normally, even talking lightly about my condition, and then a chance remark, a kind gesture or a stray thought in my head sets me off. The throat tightens, the lip quivers, the voice shrivels and the eyes overflow.

If I am alone, of course, I can let rip, have a good howl, and feel the better for it. But in company (because men don’t cry, do they?) one has to fight to regain control; stiffen the lip, clear the throat, try to regain the manly voice. But it’s not easy to switch it off.

And why am I crying? Who am I weeping for? Myself? Perhaps; but it is not self-pity. It is as though I am grieving – grieving in advance for all the things I am shortly to lose: love, friendship, the beauty of the world; seeing one’s grandchildren growing up; all the things that constitute ‘life’ and which we mostly take so much for granted.

Ah well – I start my first cycle of chemotherapy next week, and if I respond well people tell me I should feel much more positive. I hope to report soon that the ‘weepies’ are behind me.

Late Summer

The swallows gather on the wires

Chattering, impatient to depart,

To leave their summer lanes for foreign skies.

For me too a leave-taking draws near.

With the spring, the swallows will return.

But I may not  be there.