Perhaps if my sister had a view like this, she wouldn't be in the pickle she's in now, facing a 10-hour surgery on March 18. Her jaw will be broken surgically so that the cancerous tumor at the base of her tongue can be excavated. Her neck will be sliced open to remove lymph nodes. She will be given a feeding tube and a breathing apparatus. This week she's been having all of her teeth extracted in preparation for this surgery.
I've known her all my life. Things never really went her way. I have a photo of her all dressed up at age 17- she looked like a movie star. Instead of Movie Star, she became (Pregnant) Teen Bride, then Young Divorcee, then Chaos Personified.
I don't remember her having a period of peace. Ever.
She is smart and talented. She sent me this card which she made this week:
I try, foolishly, to make sense of it all. Where did this cancer come from? When my mother died of cancer I asked the same questions. I ask the questions so that I can avoid the answers. If the answer is that the cancer came from loneliness, then I don't want to be lonely. If it came from sadness then I don't want to be sad. If it came from dissatisfaction then I don't want to be dissatisfied. If it came from not being true to oneself, then I don't want to not be true to myself.
Here is a closeup of the stamp my sister placed strategically in the center of the card: