The Anastasia of today had to do a bit of spying on the Anastasia of yesterday recently. Searching for the date of a long-ago meeting, I revisited last spring’s calendar. Here I can barely manage to remember milk at the store or to get my dog to stop licking the furniture, but in spying on her, I came to admire her. Her tiara may have been dented and her cape a bit tattered, but frankly she was just the tiniest bit amazing; in just the right light and at just the right angle, she looks a little like a super hero.
Chemo appointment, 10:30
Virtually every day, every day, there was an appointment, or a meeting, or an errand.
Pick up pills at pharmacy. Physical therapy appointment, 2:00
That poor beleaguered girl. In and out, back and forth. She must have been run ragged. She must have been so tired. Where did her powers come from? What powered her magic plane or her tricked-out car?
Oxygen delivery, 12:00.
And he had such faith in her, such unwavering trust.
Call the insurance company. Call the hospital billing department. Ask the doctor about the study you read in the Journam of American Medicine. Research proposed therapy.
Even the kind of mundane items that might show up on anyone’s to-do list were so weighty. She must have had untold reserves of strength somewhere in those scrawny little arms of hers.
At the grocery store buy many containers of the same yogurt, because it's all he can eat without feeling sick. At the hardware store, get the special tape to cover the plastic ports sticking out of his arm so that he can take a shower. Walk the dog, because although he loves her deeply he cannot get around the block any more.
In the gaps on the calendar, those spaces without the appointments, there were so many unwritten tasks. No wonder Batman and Superman seemed so moody, this superhero business is so hard.
Go to the Emergency Room. Shuffle slowly down a hallway to make sure he doesn’t fall. Sob in the shower. Cry during a run. Wake up in the middle of the night, knowing you are losing him.
I’d sort of like to meet that girl, that Anastasia of a year ago. I could use her around. She strikes me as the kind of chick you want in your corner, and somehow I doubt that she would get so dizzied by the everyday pitfalls and woes that seem to knock me about so. Yeah, I could use the protection of a superhero for a little while, even a sort of shabby weary one.