Facts of Life


Whittled away by cancer, he keeps a white bed sheet over his head, like a ghost, so that no one will discover him in bed, dead.  He hasn’t eaten in days; he just can’t anymore.  His daughter arrives at the care facility and gently whispers to the tiny sheet in the bed, “Dad, wake up.  I’m here.”  He whispers, “So I ain’t dead yet?”  “Nope, you’re not that lucky,” she says.  He pops down the blanket, looks at her and says, “This is bullshit.  Why ain’t I dead yet?”  They both smile.  She kisses the hollow in his cheek.  And so begins another day.  And so it goes; this dance.  His journey.

When it is over they will both only remember the good times.  She will think back to their summers together, floating in an aluminum boat.  She is wearing her big straw hat and watching him catch fish after fish with a simple hook and a couple of crawlers.  Chihuahua!   Her mind will drift to Disney World, a month ago, when they were both Goofy.   He will be right beside her as she dreams.

Oh, time…sweet time….the double edged sword.

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