Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Sixth Minute

For the first five minutes, I was fine. Surprisingly, suspiciously fine. Then I went downstairs, put on my pink boxing gloves, and whaled. And wailed.

Kubler-Ross' first two stages, in six minutes.

Unfair doesn't begin describe it. Days on end, weeks of radiation to kill it in the prostate. The unsteadiness, being off-balance, seemed like a side effect, some minor thing to deal with in exchange for life.

Not brain cancer.

Then the third stage:

I want him to live! I want to hear him calling me and my cousins by our pet names. I want to see him hold my babies. Just that long? I'll stop taking my pill now. I'll buy a baby. I'll steal one! Just that much, please?? Maybe it can be taken care of, really easily. Right? That one thing???

But I know better... me, the quick study. I know there is no real bargaining power, that I have to play the card in my hand, that we all do. So I stubbornly cling to the fourth stage, because I don't want to get to the fifth and final. I don't want to accept it.

I hear that when he found out, Granddad just went right back to his jigsaw puzzle. He's so moderate, so mild. So good. Seriously, the best person I know. Gentle and kind and quiet and loving and happy and accepting. I've only ever seen him angry once. I don't like to admit it was at me.

But I'm lucky, I think. Out of his five daughters, the one most like him is my mother. And I get to be that close to him, when I sit with her. I get to feel his love when she speaks. When she's quiet, she's closest to him. I hope my generation is the only one those traits skip. I hope to find out soon.

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