I created this blog post idea whilst crying, wrapped into a tightly warm, comfortable snuggle ball with my snoring baby girl. Petting her beautiful, silky, soft, floppy ears, I decided that “Floppy Ears and Crocodile Tears” seemed applicable for a title, thus I marched to the computer and began typing. In response to my rational brain, however, I then questioned on whether or not crocodiles actually cry; so I inspected a bit more on the actual meaning of “crocodile tears,” learning that, in fact, the phrase of crocodile tears is a fake, insincere expression of grief.
And I assure you, there is nothing fake about my grief.
It is real. It is hard.
I do not discuss this verbally with my beautiful tribe because it just doesn’t feel right. I prefer to discuss the rational items like when is her surgery, what is the result of her blood test (beautiful, according to the doctor), what will recovery be? Yes, emotion is rational. But it is mine. And I prefer not to discuss such things aloud.
I am learning this about me for the first time as I’ve never had an instance in my life, before now, when something has saddened me so greatly that it feels heavy and outside of my control. I have never cried over death, over failure, over my bulimia and corresponding fat even, because I knew they were rational things of life. So this situation with my Gwendolyn is the first moment that I have ever been truly emotional. And it hurts.
To my friends who read this, I know that I tell you that I am good. And I am. To my sister who questions, “How are you?” I reply a bit more roughly with, “I am.” Because I am. And she is my sister and can take the stone cold exterior. And these responses mean that I am good and highly functional. But what I do not discuss is my emotional response to what is happening. My emotions are private. And heavy.
Last night, talking to my mother on the mobile, she asked if she can have a picture of “the grandchildren” together later in the month when my sister visits town. And I began crying on the spot because it makes me realise just how much Gwendolyn is loved, and of how much joy she brings not just to my life, but to the humans and dogs who are important to me. My mother pressed on why I began crying, and I simply stated that I could not discuss it. But I knew that I could write about it.
I am using this blog as my catharsis, as my therapy. I shall talk about the rational facts with my friends. But my emotion is mine and private and between myself and Gwendolyn. I conquer the day as needed. I accomplish my obligations as required. But when she and I can be alone, we cuddle and I cry.
What is happening inside of her body? Did I notice too late? And why the fuck, if she is sick, did the universe choose her to be the target? Why, when I treated my body so poorly for so long, am I not the target? I would trade anything for her health. I would weigh 300 pounds for her health. She and I could sit there and eat blueberry pie all day. Gwendolyn loves blueberry pie. I would take her sickness, if it exists, because I can handle it. She is too small. She is too perfect. I am to protect her. Yet I can do nothing but sit and god damn wait for her operation of next week, then for another week until the pathologist returns the reading of her cells.
I am sad.
Peloton and yoga keep me as sane. So does a bit of Ayn Rand, reminding me to check my premises. In Atlas Shrugged, she wrote,
You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live. You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power – and secretly add that fear is the more “practical” – you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned.
So we are going to chug along like a divine train of Taggart Transcontinental, seeking the light and not living in fear. Fuck fear. It’s okay to feel pain, yes. And to work through it, perhaps as I’ve done in this blog post. And with so many snuggles.