Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Touch Away

When the telephone rang last night I thought it strange, since no one ever calls at that time. Her older sister, with that tone of voice that you just know has to be something very bad. And it was. Her brother, fighting a losing battle with brain and pancreatic cancer, had just been declared “terminal”, with perhaps 2 months to live. The Medicine Men had stopped all efforts except for pain relief, and had given up. She was not completely shocked by this news, having been aware of his earlier condition. Facing the reality of it is another matter. They had never been really close, and time and distance had caused them to drift apart even more for these past years. Hidden behind the tear streaked, sham brave face were the thousand panicky, despairing questions and regrets we all deal with in times like this. "Why?" “What to do now?” “Call, despite feeling hypocritical, and perhaps face rejection?” “Why didn’t I get to know him better?” “Write a letter?” “Pretend I don’t know?” “Cry?” “Rage at the unfairness of it all?” “Blame and denounce God?” So many conflicting ideas and emotions, all demanding resolution, explanation, reason. And the personal fear, never admitted or acknowledged, too primal, too terrible to contemplate, now all too real.

The only question now is when; " what" has been answered, for him. Despite our denials and pretensions to the contrary, Death smiles, knowing He’s never more than a touch away from any of us...

(Curious timing, considering the subject of the last post.)

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