Once more into the breach

This has been a fucked two weeks. The kind that makes you collapse into a chair and wonder what the fuck. The kind that makes you doubt all the shit you hold dear, the stuff that you think makes your life easier to manage. There is a war inside me. The positive against the cynical. The Rocky in me wants to keep fighting; the Woody Allen in me wants to question every possible reason why I should give a fuck.

I’ve had two close friends last week lose their mothers within seven days. Seven days from diagnosis to death. Stage four cancer of something. They were extremely close to their mothers. Both are Jewish. They have close ties to family. I see them ripped apart inside, dying their own small deaths and I have nothing to offer them. I try and say that my prayers are with them. In a liberal world that laughs at the idea of someone praying to a higher power, I feel dangerously timid in even sharing that. I know what the pain of death feels like but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt it. My father passed in 94 and I was crushed he died so young at 49. He had a heart attack brought on by emphysema and died in his sleep. I was angry at having only spent 16 hours with him a few months prior after not seeing him since I was 2. I was angry he left two half brothers without a father. I was angry he didn’t stop smoking cigarettes and that he couldn’t curb his appetite for the bad things in life.

My grandfather passed in 2002. Parkinson’s got him. I couldn’t even make the funeral as I felt guilty to be reacquainted with a family that had turned their back on me due to their religious organization’s rules. I had been deemed a bad influence by the Watchtower policies. Mom kicked me out of the house a month after my eighteenth birthday. That was my first death I experienced; death of my friends and family that I had grown up with since I was four. My relationship with them has been estranged ever since. The prodigal son who never returned.

All my friends are having their relatives die now. Most are due to some fucking type of cancer. My godfather died of brain cancer two years ago. How the fuck does one get brain cancer? Really? Was it due to something in the water, the food he ate, shampoos? I wonder. With all the fucking chemicals in everything that we come into contact with in our daily lives, one must wonder. Disease comes from genetic disposition, environment or the environment in your own mind and body. Anger will give you cancer. Cigarettes will give you cancer. Sitting on your fucking ass and doing nothing will give you cancer. I’ve reduced my petrol chemical intake. I use Dr. Bonners soap, rock salt deodorant, coconut oil in my hair and body, I wash my hair once every two weeks with lavender soap. I still struggle with cigarettes on and off. I’m delusional but I can run a 7 minute mile.

My friend says to call your mother and “tell her you love her”. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to do that. I intended to call my mother today but begged off. I ‘ll call tomorrow when there is a good chance ¬†she’ll be in a Jehovah’s Witness bible sermon. Then I can just leave a message on her answering machine. That way I don’t have to listen to her voice and hear that tone she gets when she’s choosing her words carefully in conversation.That tone that belies her awareness that she is dealing with a miscreant and unabashed sinner. The truth is I haven’t been able to really talk to her as an adult. I’ve been a very bad boy by society’s paradigm and if she knew the truth, she probably die of a broken heart right there on the phone.

She’s 63. She’s gonna die soon. I should prepare for it.I don’t know if it will be cancer that gets her. No one on both sides of my family seems to have gotten it. Luck them. Cancer sucks. When she passes, I will have no living parents. I try to imagine what that would feel like but I can’t. I can’t even cry. Maybe I’m holding shit inside. I thought I made peace with it. I know I’m not the same person I was when I left home but I don’t know how to relate to her world. I’m not even sure if I would want to attend her funeral; I don’t think she can afford one. Come to think of it, she might be dead already and I just don’t even know about it. Though I’ve told her that I do want to be notified, I’m not certain she has my phone number.

I’ll send her a card tomorrow.

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