Day 1

I hate that hospital.

Damn its world renowned physicians.

Damn its architectural glass pavilion.

Damn its sculptures and art-filled lobbies.

Damn its posh, hotel-esque rooms.

People wander the halls, filled with hope.

But today, I have no hope.

The oncologist states, "Weeks. Maybe months."

He recommends halting chemotherapy. He suggests hospice.

My mother begins to cry.

She asks me to take care of my father.

Here, once the strongest woman I knew, brags to her doctor about her daughters. Mom says she's proud of me and my sister. She loves our husbands and trusts they'll take care of us. My mom coos over her grandchildren.

She's proud? Of me?

Damn. Did I tell her I love her enough?

Damn. Did I talk back to her as a child?

Damn. Did I disrespect her as an adult?

Damn. Was I impatient even though I sensed her tumor was growing?

Now I am crying.

It's the beginning of the end.