Thursday, October 7, 2010
for the cure.
tall & lanky. dark, bobbed hair. ready to dance.
& maybe kick a little ass along the way.
this is what she looked like before the diagnosis.
before the surgeries. before the chemo.
before her hair grew back the first time,
salt-&-pepper & a little curly.
before the fleeting remission.
before bad news followed by worse news.
before the permanent port beneath the skin of her chest.
before the tattooed eyebrows.
before the dehydration signaled
the beginning of the end.
before our last, glorious afternoon together,
her: larger than life itself,
me: scrambling to keep up.
the next day, she took ill again,
took to her bed & never got up.
never returned to jazzercise or central market
or life, or even to hospice.
just slowly, slowly broke down
before our sad eyes, fighting all the way.
still trying to kick a little ass.
that was irmtraud.
we had a connection, fast & deep,
unlike any other friendship i've known.
i still don't know where it came from
or how i came to deserve it,
but it was something special.
a true & unique gift.
i hate you, breast cancer.
[my children would remind me "hate"
is an ugly word. but you're as ugly as they come.]
it's unimaginable to me how many
millions of people have holes in their hearts
just like mine
because of you.
i can't eradicate you.
but i can walk
to honor my dear friend,
& my aunt & my late mother-in-law
& all the other women who touch my life
& have been touched by you.
i can walk
to help raise money
to support people who may be able
to eradicate you. someday.
the sooner, the better, you bastard.
i can walk
shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand,
with my friends & my family
to show there's strength in numbers
& in life & in love.
i can walk
& feel blessed i'm still here
with my friends & my family,
holding hands, breaking a sweat,
taking a deep breath.
i will be walking the komen austin race for the cure
one month from today.
please consider supporting me in my fundraising efforts
for the cure with just a $5 contribution.
click here to visit my page for the cure. & thank you.