Too much excitement just might kill me!
My whole life, my Mum has been fat. I never really noticed – she was always just my Mum; warm and cuddly and soft. I can’t remember her ever having expressed displeasure with her shape, or being on a diet.
Once I grew up, I knew that her size raised potential health issues, but she was still just my Mum, the way she’d always been. I knew she didn’t eat to excess, or eat unhealthily, and she seemed happy.
When Monkey was diagnosed, in some ways I think I had it easier than everyone else, because I was always with him and could see that he was still his usual self. My Mum immediately changed her work schedule so she could be available to come and help me at the hospital whenever we were admitted, and she started coming to visit us at home one day a week to help me out. She was fabulous.
I didn’t realize at the time, but it hit her really hard. She lost her appetite – and started losing weight. It wasn’t until around Christmas, when Monkey had already finished treatment, that I noticed anything (I am generally pretty clueless about that sort of thing). Mum was noticeably thinner.
And since then, she has continued to lose weight. She has bought a whole new wardrobe and even joined a gym. She’s lost so much weight now that her wedding rings don’t fit any more.
Mum is understandably thrilled, and plans to keep shrinking.
I, however, have mixed feelings. Of course I’m pleased for her, and proud of how well she’s doing, but for some reason it also makes me uncomfortable. I’m not sure if it’s because she ‘used’ Monkey’s cancer for selfish reasons (and yes, I realise how ridiculous that sounds) or if it’s just because my Mum has changed from the Mum I’ve known my whole life.
It makes me squirm, and I’m at a loss to explain why. And I feel bad that I can’t just be happy for her. Why must I always make everything so complicated?