That was my first thought, my only thought, all I had time to think before a D10T or something that felt an awful lot like one, slammed my stomach from the inside.
Not elegant. Not poetic. Neither am I. But there was a world in it just the same.
Oh, shit shit shit.
When my mother died of liver cancer at the age I am now, I was expecting it. I’d been expecting it for years. We all had. We knew it was coming and we were prepared. I didn’t cry. I’d done all my crying every time over the 15 years she suffered with it when what looked like remission turned out to be no more than a little breathing space before the next onslaught of the disease. Every time she slipped back into that dark world of hospitals and chemo treatments, lost hair, black-and-blue arms wrist to shoulder from injections and blood-taking and intravenous feeding, the weight that had taken so long to put back on melting away in a matter of days, I would leave her room after each visit, find a corner somewhere downstairs or outside, maybe sitting in my car, and cry.
I never said oh, shit.
So this feeling I’m having is odd. I didn’t know Molly Ivins. I never met her, never even saw her in person. I only read her column like millions of other people, bought her books like millions of other people, admired her guts, her wit, and her persistence like millions of other people. I knew she had been fighting breast cancer for years and that lately she’d been losing. I knew the symptoms – I saw my mother go through it – and I thought I was prepared.
And yet here I am, staring at this screen and saying oh, shit as if I had lost one of my few real friends.
But in a way that’s exactly what just happened. Continue reading