I have been a fool, it seems, living a lie instead of speaking the truth. Instead of defending the rights and the freedoms of people on the street of my hometown, I went away and fought. What would it have been like if I’d had the courage to speak to her, to Hannah?
It was like being in boot camp for old rockers, trying to keep up with her. And just like Penny Lane in the movie, Al seemed to know her way around the place.
Their stories are unique, yet share one commonality: their lives were taken unexpectedly by a virus. It saddens me to think about how those stories may have ended, that they may have been alone in nursing homes or hospitals, without their loved ones by their side holding their hand or kissing their cheek.
I believe the universe was preparing me for something – the pivotal moment when the oncologist would tell us, many months later, that the cancer was back and had spread to other organs in my husband’s body.
Blair clutches the photo of her husband and two children. The edges are bent and out of shape; worn and damaged. The photo is with her always, like a friend, a companion. She studies the photo with concentration, as though she could bring them back to her.
He sat down in his favorite chair, the one with the tall back and the arm rests. He picked up the latest Larry McMurtry book off the side table, pulled out his glasses from his shirt pocket and started to read. He could read through anything: wars, famine or feasts.
We are hopeful though, hopeful that we will find a way to drive down this road without all the obstacles and signposts that keep us distracted from the real issues at hand. It never ends, does it? It will go on forever and we will be lucky to have been a part of it; part of the road less travelled.
Perhaps over time I will be able to put this little ball of grief somewhere, store it in a grief drawer or bury it in my back yard with my phlox and roses and dahlias. Maybe there, the grief will lie in hope that it will grow into something, perhaps even into joy.
The last straw, as they say, was smoking in the rain during blizzards, snow blowing in your face as you puff away at that little white stick. I mean, how ridiculous right?
Knock on wood, so far there has not been a ‘what next’ in at least a month. So we are more than grateful for that. He saw his surgeon recently and he took an x-ray of my husband’s lungs – it was an all-clear. He saw his oncologist too and will not see him again until October.