Friday, June 16, 2017

In memory of her

Philipp Salzgeber, CC
She was a kid.

She was dying.
Everyone knew, and yet no one would say it.

Her mother asked that no one tell her child what was going on.
I saw her after her surgery, her head wrapped like a genie, sitting on her bed.

Her mother wanted me to promise I would not tell her.
I told the mother I would not lie if asked.

The comet hung in the sky like a jewel that summer 20 years ago.

It was evening.
I was tired.
The mother was tired
The child was dying.

I asked the other if I could take her child to a room where the comet was visible.
The mother said OK.
She did not come along.

I knew what I would say if the child asked.
The mother knew as well.

And the child never asked.

But she saw the comet.
The last one she saw.
Not the last one I saw.

And Hale-Bopp makes me sad every time I see a photo.

She never asked so she could protect the adults around her.


Mary Ann Reilly said...

Throughout Rob's 100 days in hospitals, I wondered often about the toll all of it must take on his doctors--especially the oncologist who was so involved and our family doctor who is a good friend. My husband taught all three of his children. He remains involved with Devon and me.

Now I have some insight. Each loss must cause an ache, a mark.

I know David, the oncologist, couldn't counter Rob one afternoon when my husband forgot he was dying. I wasn't there and when Rob said to me that we were to set up an appointment to see David the next week for treatment I was confused. Rob was coming home to die. The cancer had progressed to organs. When I called David--who was just a few years younger than Rob, he broke down and told me just couldn't tell him he was dying--not again.

Once home, Rob seemed to have forgotten the conversation as he forgot so many things like names and places and the like. I appreciated that difficulty for David. It told me so much.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like when it is a child.

doyle said...

Dear Mary Ann,

Words are inadequate, of course, but you know this already.
Thank you for yours, again and again.

Your shared, open heart through Rob's illness and his death deeply affected me, and should be read by anyone who practices medicine, teaches, or cares to live as the humans we are.


Glinda Wyndorf said...

I am so proud to know you. Your whole famn damily.

doyle said...

Dear Glinda,

Few folks' opinions matter to me, for a variety of reasons.
Yours, of course, does.

Real glad we got to know each other a little bit.