Live Color Fully

today i am excited about everything.

Cancer, Part II


We walk side-by-side across the hot pavement, and the doors in front of us slide open. Cool, stale air comes rushing across our faces, our bare skin prickles from the temperature change. I look into my Mama’s face, and I see:

She is tired.
She is strong.

These things lie inside her, intertwined, as we meet and greet. She knows what to do now, half way through radiation. It’s old hat to find her room, to shed clothes and wrap into a robe, to make her way to the room where they will lift her body up, up, and away. Where some mystery of science will push heat into her, and that heat will (God willing) (God, please) burn away the evil parts of this world. Disease.

Her head is heavy, but I see in her shoulders the bracing- the readiness- to face just one more day of this. Well, 16. 16 more days.

It is a strength that comes from our Great Unfathomable Mystery. It is a strength beyond what we can muster. It is a picture of My Help Comes From The Lord, The Maker Of Heaven And Earth.

I smile and nod as everyone tells me with bright eyes “Your Mom! She’s the bright spot in our day! What fun! What joy!” because of course, of course she is. Of course they love her, of course they respond to the energy she seeps into the world just being her.

They tell us we’re the lucky ones, and I nod again, stiffly. My brain tells me they’re right, that we had early detection, that we had surgery surgeries available, that we had radiation only. That we had a scare, but we didn’t risk it all. That in the big, grand scheme-of-it-all, we really were…. lucky.

But from the 90s inspired dark green & floral walls of a waiting room, it doesn’t feel very lucky.

I guess maybe those that call this lucky can’t see the fresh gash on our family tree, where sap bleeds out, the mark that shows “Cancer”. There is a before, and there is an after, and we won’t be the same.

And that’s okay, because not being the same, finding a different way, is okay. Is… life. I know she can do it, will do it. Her shoulders, held strong in the grip of her great faith show me that.

But lucky? No. No. Not lucky. Not this time.

(As of today? 13 days and counting. You can do it, Mama!).

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