Some young girls wish for white picket fences and ease of life. Other little girls wish for Prince Charming and ponies and true love. And some girls wish for everything.
In the tiny yellow-swagged single bed of my youth, I wished for all of it, including things that make people extraordinary—strength, pluck, humor and talent. I pleaded for a life bigger than I could handle. I ached for a life that would take me to the precipice and dare me to leap.
Silly girl. It never occurred to me that in order to have such a life some bad shit probably has to happen. For it is only in the mire that meddle is tested and we are challenged. It is the only way we take stock as to whether we possess the ability to weave wings on the way down. That is after we leap.
So when a reader asks why I think cancer is funny, I have to take a step back and consider the answer. To her I respond that I do not, in fact, find it funny. Anyone living through this fresh hell knows funny this is not. Cutting into and around the body, perhaps altering it forever and chemically catapulting oneself into sickness is no human’s idea of fun.
But to give in to the sadness, the fear, the trepidation is a gateway to death. I will not allow anything a stronghold of that level in my life.
Are you serious, she questions.
“Serious as a heart attack,” say I. Those of us whose husbands dropped dead of heart attacks before our eyes get to make that joke. ’Cuz we lived it. Cancer is the same. Whatever it takes for you to meander your way through—that’s the journey.
This girl’s way? Laugh your ass off. At the end of the day at least your backside might be smaller.