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  • glossectomygirl

Costa Rica

There was this moment. It seemed like immunizations were the answer. We were feeling almost normal again, starting to venture to restaurants doing a silly dance of eating at a table and wearing a mask to the restroom. So we booked a trip! Southwest had just opened up flight route to Costa Rica and Miguel laid down our points so we could have a long awaited VACATION BABY! The four of us were actually going to be free to be together again and IN the world.

I was deep into planning moving my mom from her home in rural Maine to Tucson. She had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's years prior. Her behavior had been getting more and more erratic and after several calls to 911, I was looking at am 'emergency' move to a nursing home when COVID slammed all those doors shut. I managed to juggled her care at home through the worst depths of covid, but the disease was progressing. Siena and I were to fly out in October and 'abduct' her. It was necessary but ominous. She would be close to me now, but that came with another set of commitments that loomed.

We lounged at the side of the dark orthogonal pool, the mangroves and palms just beyond framing the ocean cove. The call came. It was bladder cancer. On September 9th they would be removing the tumor and my dads bladder. Okay okay....okay. Surely we would get through this.

I grasped at the moment. Being with my daughters and husband. The sea. The jungle. The iguanas. The monkeys and volcanos. I blocked out the future and focused only on the present. Yet a dark cloud the rain storms which rolled in most afternoons. Changes were coming.

The days in Costa Rica were indeed my last days of my old life. A glorious calm before descending into chaos. The pain of my dads cancer wove into the torture of my moms tumultuous transition to not one but 3 different facilities. I had known all sorts of stress. Our daughter had brain surgery when in 7th grade, for gods sake. This stress came at me from everywhere, exploding into my face. I pleaded in the evening to Miguel to stop asking questions, i just couldn't speak anymore. My jaw and face screaming in pain from all the talking.

It wasn't the talking.

It was the tumor.

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