when was the last time you had lunch with death? you just sat there eating, talking about the weather, what you did last night, and enjoying your Caesar salad. sometimes what is worse than having lunch with death ... is having lunch with death disguised as a person who looked normal.
at one point in our lives we will have known either from a distance or, unfortunately, very intimately, someone who is sick. i do not mean someone with a cold or the flu. i mean someone that is really sick. cancer, HIV, lymphoma, AIDS, leukemia (and many others) ... death. some of these diseases can be sly. undercover. they can sit there looking at you, even long after you know it is there. almost waiting. to see if you forget so it can remind you. and those are the worst. there is no cure. no fix. no way to stop the pain or the illness. and the end is the same. a dirt nap. a worm bath. six foot under. sleepin' with the fishes. giving up the ghost. meeting your maker. (i can go on and on. really. i am awesome like that. i know. it rocks.)
no matter how hard you try, or fight, or cry, eventually (save the very lucky ones) it will get you. now those people that are lucky. that find the fix. or the cure. or Big G love it, cry it out of themselves. those are the lucky ones. i do not necessarily think they did anything different. i do not think they were better people. or took the right meds. they were just lucky. Big G had another plan for them. and no matter how hard we try with science...Big G and death win over us. i see it everyday that i work. i see people come in to the E.R. and not walk out. people from all corners of life. the bad ones and the good ones. but this is not a come to Big G talk. it is just simply a girl having lunch with death.
i have seen my fair share of if in my life. my BFF and i have made the comment many times 'i feel like i was born at a funeral'. i have attended so many and been around so many people while they were dying and during death that it has become a normal part of my life. you can think that it is sad. but for me, seeing someone that has made it to adulthood and not felt loss is sad. it is a hard emotion to learn. i feel it is learned better over time with often occurrences than all at once as an adult. so be it. it is what it is. and i am very familiar with it. i feel you never really learn to handle life until you have walked with death. it is primal. and scary. and hard. and sacred. you find out things you never knew before, about that person...about yourself.
today i had lunch with my brother. he looked like Grisly Adams. something i am NOT accustomed to. he had a full beard. mountain man. it was weird. but he looked great. he looked fine. like a normal 30-something. soon to be 31-something. but you see...the kicker...the knock the breath our of you is ... he is sick. like really sick. it will only be time until he is not here. there is only so much medicine. and so many OI's. and so many days. and there are no more lunches. it does not help that i maybe get to see him one to three times a year. every once in a while we will bring up something important. beneficiaries, a will, him moving in once he gets too sick to work. but mostly it is just the weather and what we did last night. what sucked so much this time, is lately he has looked sick. the last few times i have seen him he has been haggard. gaunt in the face. tired. sad. at this moment ... even though he is sicker than he has been in the past. he looked fine. and that is what is hard. i was sitting there, celebrating Lil'K's 5th birthday, looking at him. and knowing that although he is seeing this one. and has seen the last four of hers and the last 12 of Big'K's, there will be a point where he will not get to see anymore. am i confident in science? yes. do i know in my heart we will eventually find a cure to these horrible diseases? yes. do i think it will be in time to save my brother? no. no i do not. not in my lifetime. and maybe not in Lil'K's either. but we can hope can we not? so what do i do? i cry sometimes. like now. like today. off and on. like a crazy person off their meds. i get mad. i get angry. as if i have not lost enough in my life. as if the ones that i needed the most have not disappeared and left me here. as if death does not shake his finger at me with each new tumor that shows up in me. stupid ass death. dumb dumb death. i have words for death. and eventually he will hear them. i get all pissy and then i put on my fat girl panties and deal with it. i do not want to waste the time i have sulking. and having a pity party. i am not good at those. they usually turn out in a pile of ants. (another story for another time)
so today...i sat there with death. and ate my Caesar salad, talked about the weather, what we did last night, and celebrated my 5 year olds birthday. i touched him as much as i could, hugged him as much as my space issues would allow, and silently said a little prayer for more time.
when the day ended and i dropped him off so he could hit the hay and get up and head back home tomorrow, i told him i loved him and i would see him later. we laughed about the day. he threw something from his car through my window narrowly missing my eye. we laughed again about fun and games...and well you know how the adage goes. and i made sure to stare. to pull in every little detail of him. so that i can see him in my mind. because today? today death looked good. and i was happy for that.
today was good. and hard. but good. and i enjoyed it. i enjoyed the hours i spent driving. and the stupid salad. i enjoyed the cheesy wait people singing Happy Birthday and not caring that Lil'Bro and i were singing louder and my dad's face was flush with embarrassment. i enjoyed that today my mind would let me remember parts of my childhood that we laughed about. i enjoyed that it was a little too windy and my tires were out of balance. i enjoyed the $100 i pulled out of my account to give to him, knowing i would be paying for that one later. i just...enjoyed. it was a good day. and death...he can kiss my ass today. i will pay him tomorrow. but not today.
i will get up in a minute, grab me an adult beverage, hope it does not interact with the sleepy meds i took, send off a toast to Lil'Bro, blow him a kiss, wipe a tear away and get over it.
if for no other reason than he is my little brother. i am the older, stronger one. and he does not need to see all that blubbering and such. i am horribly ugly when i cry. and who needs all that.