F@%k Cancer, Part 8

I don’t think people understand the severity of the situation, especially those who deal so closely with the soon to be dearly departed. The hospice care staff is out there enjoying the holiday using the implied excuse that “the patients will die anyway”, falling short of the contract and expectations of care. This is one of the many reasons I hate stereotypes. Maybe in Puerto Rico most citizens are really kind and hardworking folks, but I have yet to see, outside of the VA cancer unit and HIMA neurosurgery team the type of compassionate and quick to respond service required of such dire cases.

It’s the day after Christmas and my phone is blowing up with messages of worry and urgency. The hospice people have incurred the wrath of my sister, a formidable foe that will cut you down with sarcasm and the power of a thousand suns. She goes to Super Sayin IV mode fast! I like to use a more psychological and subversive mind game in which I propose to pull funding and rank, while making them think they are the only heroes that can save us. Both approaches have worked thus far, regardless of the enemy. Seems the companies only understand the language of cash.

In the world of the capitalists, cash is King.

Death doesn’t care if we are born into money or not. We are all buried and mourned by our loved ones, if we are lucky, or just disposed of into the earth or a biohazard container depending on the circumstances. Sounds bleak, and cynical but that doesn’t make it any less true. My only solace is that the land of the deceased must be heaven because no one has come back from it dissatisfied. All of our ancestors waiting for us to return to the homestead; for our souls to replenish and under some beliefs reincarnate. It doesn’t matter what version you ascribe to, as in the end we all leave this Earth better or worse than we found it, becoming eternal for as long as those left behind remember us.

Grief is love with no place to go…or in our case, anger that is used to construct not tear down, unless deemed necessary.

To get over the ups and downs of mom’s convalescence, and the ebb and flow of Delta’s airfares during the holiday season, I’ve turned to some woodworking and home projects. Every time I mess something up the Hulk Smash in me is quelled by the rational Dr Banner scientific method approach. The whirlwind of emotions suppressed by the emergence of a Wonder Woman peacemaker mentality. All of the Xmas movies have been about losing a parent recently, and my fragile heart and minds can’t really handle it. What’s with the trope that the hero/heroine has to be an orphan on a quest to find a suitable vessel for their grief?

Watching Aquaman and Bumblebee at the movies wasn’t much help to keep my mind distracted. We all have an origin story, one that may be modified as it suits the occasion best. I’m overwhelmed with a desire to rip the authors of my screenplay a new one. This was not how it was supposed to go. This is not how mom’s journey was supposed to end either. What did we ever do to deserve this? Ugh!!! Who do I yell “CUT!” to in order to refire the scene? The editor staff are not going to hear the end of this either. This whole adaptation is a mess. Can this whole production be saved? By what? By whom?

These are the questions that keep me up at night every time my cellphone starts buzzing, frantically, the messages full of sorrow, despair, and awkwardly enough holiday cheer. To top it off, the family ended up burying grandma on Christmas Eve. After 90 years on this planet, 10 without her beloved husband of 54 anniversaries, she decided it was time to report back to the mothership. Her funeral was a true labor of love from a family that endures. I am grateful for them all, the cast and crew that make it all possible. The fire and ice that shapes me, to this very day, into a gritty and generous individual.

This, all this, shall pass. To what end? Time will have to tell on this one.

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