This is how I remember it.
This is how it was.
It’s called a secondary cancer.
A migratory zone.
Where the cells go to garden.
We sat in the waiting room praying for him. Losing hope as the hours passed,
as the 7 hour surgery turned into 22.
Finally, the surgeon came out and told us what we already knew.
It was not good.
But for now he was in recovery.
My sisters and I stayed at the hospital and waited for a chance to visit him, for the chance to see that he yet existed and was still amongst us.
At some point in the night the nurses removed the breathing tube.
He spoke in a broken record, PeeWee Herman voice not his own.. “tumor tumor tumor”.
“Tumor’s all gone, honey, tumor is gone.”
I didn’t know if he heard or understood me as he continued his senseless mutterings.
Suddenly, he turned towards me and with eyes unfocused and snapping left-right, left-right said
“Sing sing sing sing”.
So I sang,
to my brother.
Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name and it feels like
When you call my name, it’s like a little
Prayer. I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you
there. In the midnight hour, I can feel your
Power. Just like a prayer, you know I’ll take you there
The hard part wasn’t his leaving.
The hard part was being left.
He stayed long enough to say goodbye.
This is gmom,