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Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006
Ah, just damn.

My good wife Ally, in her 46 some years on this sphere, 26 of those with me, hasnít had quite the week like this one, and I wouldnít wish such a thing on anyone. I ferried a hamburger to her a while ago, a gesture of a meal while she sits at her Moms bedside.

Itís a concludable thing that her Mom wonít last the week.

And thereís a thing, see. This thing called cancer that fells a fair soul like her mother, to the extent that brings surprise at the speed of it all, and the completeness of the erosion. I spoke to my mother in law for a stretch not 5 days ago. She was lucid and talkative. At least to the degree that being bedridden would allow.

And I walked in there tonight and saw the death that might happen in 5 minutes or 5 days but rest assured, itís a death coming. Funny, or not funny at all, you get familiar with it after a time. Iíve stood over people and knew, beyond doubt, that the bell was tolling. Hunted deer and placed a kill shot and knew their last panting breath. You feel this sort of thing after a time, it hovers and waves and makes you feel a part of it and you look to a sky grown pink in an April evening.

Thereís a slow breath drawn, now.

When that sunset might be someoneís last.

Iíve respect to that end.

For a life well lived, and a wish not to go in tubes and dull chemical. She will go with children near, in a home of her own, and my charge tonight was to summon children of my bearing to drop by tomorrow, quiet like, and say a word and touch a hand wasted with wear. Hard on my little wife it is today, and I would strike hard anything I could to have her out of there and away from a watch that will end only when the breathing stops and the end of things that builds that last wall high and final.

We are of an age, my wife and I. Where things so permanent and familiar begin to pass, and how more familiar a thing that your mother? Or my father some 2 years ago now, who I think of every day and bless the sky that warmed his face for so many years. That he passed loving his wife and children and all the hundreds beyond them. That there was dignity, and the solitude of such a thing kept tears at bay and there was no cheapening of life, in that death.

Bless you Betty. Youíve been a Mom to me as well in the best way you could be.

We'll stay here for a time and wish and wane, doing the best we can for you and what you made good for us.

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