Again

That damn C word again.  Cancer.   I hate that word.   I want to grab an eraser and scrub it permanently from the English language, banish it to hell, stomp on it and grind it to nothingness, never to fall from my lips again, never to assault my ears again.  My daughter is a cancer survivor, defeating a malignant melanoma that struck her when she was only thirteen years old.  My younger brother died from colon cancer when he was in his late thirties.  My grandfather succumbed to thyroid cancer, an aunt fell to cancer of the liver. I have never had cancer and never will (do you hear that Universe?)  I intend to live well into my nineties and beyond.  I am not afraid of death, well maybe a little.  I think I have come to terms with it and understand that it simply another transition.   I mean, I want to have a say in it, to orchestrate it.   I want it to be an easy thing.   I don’t want it to hurt.   And I don’t think about it much, the truth that someday I will die.  But the thing I hate, the ugliest truth that swims around my brain from time to time is that of my children’s mortality.

Matt, my son, had a colonoscopy today.   Two polyps were removed and now we endure a week of waiting for the results from the biopsy.  He is thirty years old.  Family history prompted the test.   His uncle, my brother, died from colon cancer.  His father, my ex-husband, had colon cancer a year ago. Genetics are not in his favor.  I am so grateful that he is taking a proactive approach to this.  Those little polyps are ticking time bombs.   Ticking time bombs without a countdown clock, you never know when one has reached detonation and is secretly exploding sending its shrapnel everywhere.  Dirty bombs. 

When Jill, my daughter, had melanoma I knew she would survive the disease but I wasn’t sure I would.   I prayed and begged God to take the melanoma from her and give it to me.  I told God I didn’t want her to go through the pain of the disease but the truth was that my heart could not bear watching her in pain.  For a parent the greatest hurt is the inability to end your child’s suffering.  When my brother died, I watched my mother break.  Not a breakdown, no shattering, rather it was a white-hot lightning strike that split her heart in two, searing the edges with a black scar that will never fully mend.   It doesn’t make sense.  A mother’s love, a mother’s kiss, a mother’s touch is supposed to cure everything.  But life doesn’t really work that way. 

Matt sounded tired.  He needed his rest.  I told him I loved him then hung up the phone.  I walked out the door and headed to the corral.  I hung my arms over the top of the fence resting my cheek on my hand.   The railing was hot to the touch from the heat of the day.  I welcomed the burn.  The horses looked up from their grain and, sensing my mood, walked over with tails swinging from side to side.  They nudged me, warm breath puffing out of their nostrils onto my hair.  I stroked their velvet noses and whispered  hello pretty girls.   The sun dropped behind the mountain, dusk edging to dark.  No tears, not yet.   I believe Matt will be fine.  I need to believe that.  The horses turned and walked back to their feed.  I patted their rumps as they sashayed away. 

I went back inside.   To wait.

 

6 Comments

  1. Comment by Marilyn

    Posted on July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Sending you and Matt all the love and beautiful vibrant energy that fills our souls.

  2. Comment by Marilyn

    Posted on July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Sending you and Matt all the love and beautiful vibrant energy that fills our souls.

  3. Comment by Nancy

    Posted on July 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    As a mom, and your friend, I’m thinking of you.
    “A hug…..speaks words within the mind that cannot be spoken.”
    If I were in the canyon, I’d give you a hug.

  4. Comment by Nancy

    Posted on July 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    As a mom, and your friend, I’m thinking of you.
    “A hug…..speaks words within the mind that cannot be spoken.”
    If I were in the canyon, I’d give you a hug.

  5. Comment by owner

    Posted on July 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you Nancy and Marilyn. You are both dear, dear friends.

  6. Comment by owner

    Posted on July 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you Nancy and Marilyn. You are both dear, dear friends.

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