It's difficult to remember what life was like before our democracy was rocked by the tectonic shift of Trumpistan. In general my life was charmed, though I've struggled with anxiety and depression for all of it. But I found the love of my life, had a beautiful kiddo.
Wrote a lot. Designed a garden and a kitchen, and saw those dreams fulfilled. Made quirky art. Made some more quirky art.
One of the most difficult years of my adult life was the year I turned 40, though not because 40 was particularly scary. That was the year my father – on my 40th birthday, in fact – got wind of his stage IV metastatic prostate cancer.
So many people in this world have an extremely complex relationship with their parents. I'm no different. But people's relationship with death is often a sort of head-in-sand approach to illness and infirmity.
In this I differed, so much so that people were gobsmacked by the lengths my brother and I went to help Dad have a good trip to the end of the road. A complex, funny, sad path; we walked with him the whole way.
Then I wrote about it: from that 40th birthday until one year after his death.
I used Dad's art to punctuate our experience. I made it into a book, though it was never published: it's hard to pitch a full-color book of art and cancer.
I don't know why I unearthed the online version of it last month – I suspect I wanted a single chapter out of it to denote the anniversary of his death; there might have been beer involved – but I paid for the whole year, a fact I just noticed on my credit card bill.
So here it is. Start here, if you dare. Prologue "The Quiet Light."
Leave a comment