Pancreatic cancer doesn’t play around. It is aggressive.
I’ve lost two cousins in as many years, both in adjacent rooms in the same hospital, all of us sharing the same oncologist whom you know here as Hemosapien, though he wears many other hats and goes by many other names. Today, my cousin Bill passed away. Bill was just eight months older than me. We played together as little boys, and enjoyed each others company as grown men. We loved each other.
Many times, living gets in the way of our relationships with family and friends, but Bill and I always picked up where we left off. The years never seemed to make much of a difference. We never missed a beat when we got together. Time stood still and waited for us. I am thankful for that. Time resumed its march today. Eventually, it continues on its own way, pausing for a measure or two, but the beat returns and time makes its demands. It will eventually make its demands on all of us.
Bill was ready to go. After a year of surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation, Bill and his body had had enough. Bill is now free of all those entrapments, including the limitations of a failing body. We all have failing bodies. Even when our bodies seem to not be failing us, as we get older there is always the new normal, the downward spiral of what we expect to get from our bodies. Eventually, they fail. Eventually, we weep for the failures of those precious bodies that belonged to those dear to us. We mourn for the one lost, and mourn perhaps more for our loss of them.
Bill left behind a loving wife, daughters, sisters, a father and mother, grandchildren, cousins, and hundreds of friends who will miss him, his smile, and his straightforwardness. I don’t suppose I ever heard Bill twist anything…things were just simply what they were the way he saw them, and he was liable to tell you so. Bill liked what he liked, didn’t like what he didn’t like, and never apologized for the liking or the disliking. He never figured he had to apologize for, or explain, what he liked. He liked me. I liked him. We liked each other. We always did. We will yet again.
Now, I mourn for a loving wife that has lost her mate, for daughters that lost their father, a mother and a father that lost their son, sisters who lost their brother, and grandchildren who lost their grandfather, perhaps even more than I mourn the loss of my cousin. There is the peace that passes all understanding. This family will know that peace.
Bill? He is resting now, or perhaps hearing the baying of the hounds he loved so much chasing after the deer. Either one, he has no pain as we do. He has no limitations as we do. He is free from those constraints of limitations, of space, of time. He embraces the eternal.
It is we who are temporarily left behind who mourn our loss.
Godspeed and a fair wind, Cuz.
©2014 Mississippi Chris Sharp