I am not good at holidays.
I much prefer working.
Doing something.
I am in the south west of West Australia, touring with Cynthia.
I probably agreed to this holiday as it coincided with the end of a two year consulting project and I would be between jobs. Organising to have my two quarterly Sundays off from the parish meant it was only the pruning of the vineyard and the building of the new vineyard that had to be worked around. Why not have a break?
After being delayed for 5 hours at Melbourne airport due to ice on the wings of the plane, and then not having my checked baggage turn up for a day we got on with our holiday. Cynthia’s cold had moved to her chest and as we were in no particular hurry we called in to a Doctor’s surgery because she felt she needed antibiotics. “Oh, and could you look at my big toe? It’s been quite sore”, she said.
And with that we took a turn into the twilight zone.
We were back an hour later for a biopsy.
A short scream, a few stitches and an indeterminate wait. “I’ll call you when the results come in”, said the doctor. “Keep the foot up for a few days.”
So there it is. Off into the great unknown.
Our minds traverse a landscape informed by Professor Google. Do we stay on the road marked “Probably nothing to worry about”, or down the “Beginning of the end”? It’s easy to be trivial and it helps. Cynthia posts a small status update on Facebook and three days later her multitude of friends are still filling my Inbox (she mentioned me in the post) with expressions of concern and assurance of prayers. I’ve never sorted out that setting in Facebook, because at the rate I post, emailed notifications of comments have never been a problem.
We hole up in Harvey. A very poor choice of a motel, but it’s warm and close by. Cynthia Googles.
The range of possibilities and their possible impacts on our lives are distressing.
Probably nothing. And if not at least we will have got it early. God bless you chest cold.
I’ve been through this sort of thing with others. Indeed I was informed just last week that my brother has prostate cancer and will go under the knife shortly. I’ve always said that it was the time between the test and the diagnosis that is the hardest. When everything is possible. When we hope for the best, but fear the worst. The time when we want to talk about it, but fear that if it is nothing, we can appear foolish and wish that we had said nothing. It takes courage to talk, to share, to stare into the twilight zone and hope.
I’m not much good at doing nothing.
But then, sometimes there’s nothing you can do.