I mean, when I was knee-deep and head-thick in the middle of machine beeps, vigilant nurses, IV bags, doctors, bedpans, and all that accompanied (too graphic to mention) my sick husband as I sat on the sidelines in the city, I just didn't know what to ... saythinkdo.
I knew early on that I should have been concerned with knowing what kind of chemos he was being intravenously fed, when to make him walk the halls, what his T cell counts were, how even unscented scents propelled his body upright with vomit--and I was aware--but all of that, every last detail, was being downloaded onto the brain with no capacity with which to store it.
Because, you see, I was on hyper-overload from everything the past two, four, ten years had thrown at me, the least being a realization to come and the most recent being the living situation with The Aunt. The realization being the responsibility I did not take for my feelings and my life up until then (and even later) and the situation with The Aunt being an atrociously soul-in-hell experience.
Between the least and the most of these milestones came naive, painfully green, young, single motherhood; one entire year of absolutely fruitless, emotional pandering to attempt to appease the relationship with the barely live-in father; a jam-compacted courtship that took a number of hits in only a few months before a quick engagement; a near-tragic rollover that put all of us in the hospital and ended in custodial fights by my parents over my youngest brother; a third year of university that began in almost total amnesia; our hasty law-office wedding; pregnancy number two; quitting school; moving to Canada; going one round of cancer; 6 months broke (and living with inlaws); getting Kyle's teaching job; and moving 8 hours away.
That was just a two-year period.
And then when Kyle got sick that year, I lived with this aunt the last four months of Kyle's hospital stay. I had been living with friends whose house we were crowding, so rather than rent an apartment, for which I had so closely come to putting a deposit on, I opted to move to the city and live with this aunt. An aunt who was so very hellbent on being "helpful" but instead ended up wanting control of everything that was going on, down to my computer usage.
So. I had no time to wrap my head around even one thing, look at it, swallow before moving on to the next big thing. And it was in that way that I sat in that hospital room every day, falling asleep to reruns of MacGuyver and Three's Company with Kyle.