In the Before, I wasn’t a superstitious person. I wasn’t a religious person, either. I can’t remember who it was that told me that largest percentage of middle class, comfortable people are atheists, mostly because their lives are so comfortable and they don’t often face hardship out of their control. If you’re not in a situation where something horrid is happening, something truly horrid, then you don’t need faith or superstition to get you through.
At hospice I’ve picked up a few superstitious habits, because there is so much with Kai that we can only face with hope and cuddles. If we don’t want something to happen, we don’t mention it for fear of jinxing it, having it come about. We talk around it. If he’s sleeping and settled, we won’t say something like ‘he’s keeping down his meds! Hopefully he’ll keep down the next lot’ because then for sure Kai will vomit.
When we do talk about things we’re hopeful about, we always always prefix or end it with ‘touch wood’. And then both Sam and I will touch the nearest bit of wood, hopefully unpainted. Some of the nurses do it too, which is where I suspect we got the habit from.
I also throw up small tiny prayers of hope when I’m faced with a junction where Kai could go either way. I’ve never prayed as much in my life as I have since Kai was been born. Honestly, there is a lot of prayer.
When you’re faced with such extreme love and against such extreme hardship and pain, with the possibility of extreme loss, I think that’s where faith and hope are the strongest.