Remember Fabienne? I first had her start coming to clean like three and a half years ago, and I last wrote about her when she broke up with me in a text. That was the summer of 2011. We parted as friends and life went on. Hank would ask about her every few months, possibly as a comment on my housekeeping.
Then a few weeks ago, I was sitting somewhere waiting for a kid to do something. I got a text and it was from Fabienne, after over a year of silence. It said, "Hello, I'm thinking of you. You're in my prayers."
Well, I was reminded of the joke about the psychoanalyst who passes an acquaintance on the street. His friend says, "Hello," and the shrink thinks, "I wonder what he meant by that." I read her text a few times and went, "Hmm, huh?"
Then I texted back something like, "Hi! Thank you, we're doing great, how are you?" But then I sat there and stewed, yes Reader, I stewed. You see, that day I was in a vulnerable frame of mind about my health and cancer and dread and mortality. I don't know, I mostly feel bulletproof but there are still bad moments. They get farther apart. But something had made me feel afraid, and then I got her text, and I was like, "Why am I in Fabienne's prayers? Does she know something I don't know? Does she sense, like, a disturbance in the Force?"
Yes, I can be this crazy, Reader. It's time you knew. (You already knew?) But I am also pretty good at recognizing when I need to be talked off the ledge, and I can sort of talk myself down from there. I spun my little hamster wheels. Then I realized, aha, it's early October and we have all been hit with a veritable air-drop of pink ribbons and of course she's thinking of me because everything is breast cancer breast cancer all the time. She sees that and is reminded of me. Okay. Yes, so that's how I convinced myself that Fabienne did not have supernatural/divine knowledge that I was sick again.
Writing it really makes it seem more ridiculous than it felt in the moment.
So we exchanged a few more textual pleasantries and then she says, "Can I come back and clean for you?" And I'm like, "So am I in your prayers really or was that just your opener?" Ha! No I didn't. I said, yes please, come on Friday. So she did.
She's come twice since then; she did a really good job the first day and a slightly-less good job the second day. So we're back to where we were.
Her telling me I am in her prayers reminded me of something my sister told me. When Christians want to say no without saying no, they say, "I need to pray about it." I love that so much. Because there is no rejoinder. You're being pressured to buy a car or sign up for a timeshare? I need to pray about it. Extra PTA responsibilites? Better pray about it.
Anyway, so Fabienne is back on the scene and I thought I'd bring you up to speed. I don't know why the story of her reentry has to be so tied up in the story of my ongoing mental adjustment to having had cancer but there it is.