And in the End

I don’t sleep well. It is one of the unwelcomed side effects that has come with the cancer. Sometimes, when insomnia strikes, I lie in bed making up silly songs or having serious conversations with God. These moments are comforting, a nocturnal gift. But sometimes, I examine my life, the mistakes I have made, the powerful regrets for what I wasn’t brave enough to do. Those moments become difficult. To clear my mind, I will get up, walking the darkened rooms of my home much like a phantom in the night. But as I often find, there is a clarity that accompanies the darkness with no distractions, nothing to divert my attention from my feelings. I have come to understand that silence is never qui

The Update

And often, it isn’t the grand gestures which become the most important. Sometimes, it is the diligence, the paying attention to the smallest things, the smiles offered to a stranger, the kind gesture to someone in need, or the sympathetic ear given to a friend. This is what people notice most. Perhaps that is the secret: it is the tiny moments, which become that by which you hope to be remembered. In the moral bucket list of life, these are attainable, and perhaps, most important. *** I often visualize as I sit in the chemo chair. I pop in my earbuds and imagine the medicine flowing through my body eating the malignant cells with a voracious appetite. I remember Pac Man. That image has se

Eulogy Virtues

Over the past year I have had a blank page in my idea notebook labeled with a simple two-word title, “my obituary.” At diagnosis, my doctor had indicated that it would be wise to get my affairs in order. Somehow, every time I think of that term it is accompanied by an English accent. It feels rather formal and complicated. I suppose it is. There is the business of dying that most of us don’t want to think about, and yet, confronting my mortality meant that I needed to do just that. I made list of my jewelry, carefully assigning each to a particular recipient. I told my family where to find my updated will. I began writing letters to my loved ones to be opened when I was gone and added random

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