What if the biggest thing in one’s life is really none of your business? And by “none of your business,” I mean your business, not mine. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks crying, throwing up, listening to other people cry and throw up, feeding people, being fed (given food), helping others sleep, trying to help myself sleep, trying to distract myself and my friends, laughing at the absurdity of it. What is it? Cancer. I do not have it, knock on wood. But it recently snuck up on some friends. That seems to be cancer’s MO. First you don’t have it then you do. Sneaky bastard. Cancer is also like that car you recently bought; it is everywhere you look, every grocery store parking lot, every coffee shop, every curriculum committee meeting. Everyone either has it or a close friend or relative has it. I may have never actually said “cancer happens to other people,” but I am pretty sure I felt it. But this time cancer did not happen to other people. This time it happened to specific people, my people. One might argue that it happened to one person (especially if I weren’t being so vague) but I am a witness that cancer happened to many people a couple of weeks ago.
The question at the top is my way of figuring out how to write about what’s on my mind when what’s on my mind is other people’s personal tragedy. Trying to turn the personal into a more universal, and perhaps philosophical question.
This experience has brought home to me something that I long suspected. I love these (secret) people.