So, yeah, the title sums it up.
I know you guys are so sick of Heartbreak Hotel Brittany.
So, I started writing a post sans Elvis influence.
But it still ended up being depressing because, ummm, yeah, that's the flavor of the week.
BUT, it wasn't about The Someone.
It was about the letter.
I love mail.
I'm one of those throw-backs to olden days who actually prefers pen and paper.
I like seeing someone's handwriting.
I like the idea that you can't just backspace and delete.
That what you were feeling or thinking was written RIGHT THEN and you couldn't rethink it.
I like how letters smell.
Depending on who wrote it.
My grandmother's letters always smell like Poison.
I'm sure it's because she applies it liberally to her wrists, then while writing, the scent transfers to the paper.
Garrett's letters always smell of Kenneth Cole.
E-mails don't smell.
Friday's letter smelled like linen.
That off-kilter smell that all linen has, no matter how often you wash it.
There was no handwriting.
Just type-written letters spelling out my greatest fears.
I knew it when I saw the return address.
When I saw the envelope with the glossy window.
I refused to open it.
Tonight was about fun. Robin's birthday. Friends, good food, presents and cake. Laughter, reminiscing, good-natured ribbing, loyalty and love.
But as the laughter died down and the house began to empty, the letter was on my mind.
I couldn't wait any longer.
Leaving the lingerers in the living room, I took the letter to the bathroom.
Unusual lab results.
Normal range <40.
Your range >500.
It will sound crazy, but I was relieved.
At least I wasn't wondering anymore.
I knew what it said.
And, as always, I will deal with it.
I will be fine.
I am fine.
I plastered the smile back on my face and went back to friends.
Serving pie and cake, washing dishes in the sink, hugging people goodbye.
And the conversation I had months earlier with a friend returned.
"I don't think it would be fair to be loved. It's not fair to require someone to go through these things with me. To watch them hurt because I'm sick or hurting."
And think maybe God does have his reasons for things not working out sometimes.
Yes, it is more than possible that these readings mean nothing.
Just something out of whack.
Restructure the medications again.
Add some things, take some things away.
Illness as my body reacclimates itself to the changes.
Exercise to combat the chemical changes that play havoc on my metabolism.
But it's something I get to do alone again.
I won't feel the guilt I used to feel watching Ron or Jeff take off work to go to the doctor with me, out of a sense of obligation and loyalty.
The anger at having them constantly remind me that I couldn't or shouldn't do something just because I'm technically sick.
The shame I felt when I couldn't do the things for them I always had, be the person I had always been, because I was too tired or too depressed to do them or be that.
The degradation of having to ask for help to do the millions of things I volunteer for when I'm well, but can't handle alone when I'm not.
As I type this, I'm looking at my brother and his friends sitting around my living room.
Wishing I could spare him, as well.
Trying not to pick a fight.
Something to make him angry enough at me to leave me alone for a while.
So he won't have to see it start again.
But I'm jumping ahead of myself.
It's possible it's nothing.
But as Jeff said so aptly, years ago: “With your medical history, with everything you’ve been through, with the medications you’re on . . . do you think it’s nothing? . . . "