The Midnight Burglar

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Screw Cancer. It’s like a burglar that comes at midnight. It comes in the middle of an unsuspecting night, while you lay fast asleep cozy in bed next to a loved one, or your favorite stuffed animal. Whether it tricks the lock or scales the windows and doors it somehow manages to slip through the smallest unexamined crack, and finds a way in to the place you always assumed would be safe. It defiles your home and leaves you feeling vulnerable and confused. It comes swift and bold and strong. It moves silently, slipping into every room without you having a chance. It ransacks your life, it goes through your belongings and it makes sure you don’t hear a damn thing while it carries out its selfish intentions. It works tirelessly, to gather all the things you hold dear so it can take it for itself.  And, by the time you wake up and roll out of the warm comfort of your bed, by the time you walk down the stairs, by the time you catch it, it has removed everything that holds any real value and leaves not a trace of evidence behind to have a culprit to blame. Screw Cancer. It takes your TV and your curtains and all the money you have ever saved. It takes your peace of mind and any idea of security you have ever had. It takes your favorite necklace and your favorite shoes and any favorite you have ever had. Just like the midnight burglar it is needy and silent and fast. It’s only motivation is to take all the things you love and leave you feeling helpless. It has no remorse and no conscience. It is quiet and cunning and destructive. Screw Cancer. If only we had a vague sketch artist drawing of you that we could pin down Criminal Minds style and lock you away for life. If only we had a leading witness to testify against you in trial. If only we had a face to blame. If only we had a way to get all the things back you stole. If only you weren’t the best thief there ever was.

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Hope on the Move

One million U.S. adults are living with a blood cancer. Every 4 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer. Unfortunately these facts are real. But, Organizations like The Leukemia and Lymphoma society help these number drop dramatically. We need your help, I need your help. My team, Hope on the Move, is walking for the end of blood cancers on October 12th. My family is living proof that this society helps saves lives by funding research programs, like the one my mother chose to participate in, that has saved her life. This group not only saves lives of cancer patients, it saves families from having to deal with an incredible loss. These are the facts in our modern world, but we have the power and the tools to change them if only we work together. Anything will help. Just click on the link below and click on my name, Ashley to donate under me. Isn’t using the old, faded one dollar bill you have in the back of your wallet to help end the fight of cancer more of a use than letting it lay around? 

The Final days

Aside

I remember when they took you there, when they knew it was getting close and you really didn’t have a choice. I remember how the air was a little tighter and the obvious a little more obvious there. When you walked in you could no longer deny what was the next step in the plan of life. That’s how it is on the inside of nursing homes or hospital facilitates, they have a way of making me feel like death is crawling up inside my chest and, out of fear of what would happen if I sit there for too long, I go outside because that is the only place that I can find relief. It’s the only way that I can feel the relief of spitting death out of my chest, by clumsily walking to the outside garden provided (there is always an over done garden usually with some sort of stone looking fountain so maybe I’m not alone in all this) and taking tremendously deep breathes and looking up at the sky as if to remind my body “you are alive, you are alive”, or, maybe its for my soul.

After hours and hours of sitting in a calm colored room filled with deep reds and sun shining on dirt brown, I knew I needed a break. I needed a break from sitting in a room trying to act like the thing that was happening wasn’t really happening. Maybe it was because I couldn’t look in your eyes anymore, or maybe it was because I had to pee, who knows. All I know is I left the room for a stroll around slow death valley, or as people tend to call it, the hospice center. After one too many turns in the maze of halls I somehow got lost. Then the world began to spin, in my frantic search for your room. I got lost in the indoor prison of beige colored walls and, after turning corner and corner and corner they felt like they were closing in. All I could smell were burnt potatoes wafting from everyone’s rooms and families talking softly about what to do and people in their bed dying and going over every little day of their lives wishing they had more but they don’t. And I begin to run because I know that’s you, I know that’s what you are doing and I don’t want to miss a second of you. I don’t want to miss a second of your warmth or the smell of your weathered skin. I don’t want to miss another millisecond of your rough over worked hand holding mine. Running faster and faster I still can’t reach your room and the beige colored walls swallow me up and my lings feel like they are about to rip out of my chest. I can’t miss another minute of your beautifully, cut short life. I run and run along these creme colored walls, along the windowless plaster prison walls in a place that takes no survivors.  I run and run and run, how big could this place be? Finally I hear the all too familiar voice of my mom, I smell the tartness of my grandmas perfume and I see you. I haven’t missed it, that greedy disease hasn’t stolen you away from me just yet. And, before I slip quickly back into that room so I can hold your hand I say a very quiet prayer thanking god for those extra five minutes.

For You.

Hey I missed you today,
I missed the way you made everything seem a little less grey,
I miss the way you held my hand because I was scared,
Lord knows I could use it now,
As I stroll across the threshold of adulthood,
Did you get to see my graduation,
Were you up there cheering for me,
Do I make you proud,
Well at least from what you can see?
Sometimes I can still feel your laughter,
even when I’m mad,
what I would give to hear it in my ears,
and not simply from my head.
Remember when I was little,
and we were driving in the car,
and you told us that sweet summer day,
that you can see how it rains.
If you look out in the sky,
that the sky slants with grey,
that its raining over their so prepare for the day.
You also said,
hey look over there,
as you gestured toward the clouds,
and told me and my brother,
that when the sun falls between the clouds,
and you can feel its warmth,
that the light is the light from heaven,
and it means all our family is smiling down on us,
right then.
When the sun hits the sky just right,
to this day,
I cry.
I know that its you up there,
looking down on me,
I can feel the warmth of your smile in the heat of the sun.
I hope you get to see your dad,
and your brother too,
I know you missed them here on earth,
and I am sure they missed you too.
I hope you get to see me,
as I begin to take on my years,
are you watching me now as I begin to tear?
Ninny misses you a lot,
when you left us a part of her went too,
I dont know if she will ever be the same here without you.
I hope you don’t mind that I read all those letters,
the ones you wrote to her from the war,
the cute and lovely ones,
from when you were just a kid.
I hope this letter gets sent up there,
and you can spare a moment to read,
and then I hope you go right back to fishing,
and smiling,
and laughing,
and setting in that sun.