Friday, April 15, 2011

Becasue Cancer is Bull$#*%

Stole this from MommyWantsVodka: funny, with a touch of profane; my type of humor.
This is the first thing that has brought forth a real laugh from me in days.  Well this, and a card I discovered at Wal-Mart which has a cotton candy scented air-freshener unicorn farting out a rainbow.  (Be vary wary my dear friends, because you may be getting one of these cards in the mail soon.)

What has kept me so silent and my brain so cobwebbed this week is the news I got on Tuesday.  See the picture of the young man below?  Well, he has cancer.

Brenden McGuire
That's Brenden.  We went to college together.  In the eight years since we've graduated he's gotten married, has almost 3 kids (#3 debuts in June), gotten a doctorate degree, and teaches back at the college where he was Valedictorian.  Two words--Show off!  (In my eight years since college, I got knocked up and dumped, engaged and ditched at the alter, and fired from my government job last spring.  It's obvious that someone used his college degree a bit better than I did.) 

No, all joking aside, Brenden is a wonderful person.

We met as freshmen; I, a fresh-faced 18 year old who had never driven on the interstate because I was over-sheltered ('It's not you that I don't trust; it's the other assholes on the road!' my dad would/does say) and he, a 15 year old  Neew Yorka who had spent the summer running around Europe with his twin brother.  No parents.  Just them, no parents.  And I was soooo envious.  So I did the only reasonable thing.  I pointed out that I was older and could drink sooner.  That didn't phase him.  Duh!  He'd spend the summer in Europe.

Although we disagreed on practically EVERYTHING politics, government, the War between the States, the role of women throughout history, Socrates, there was one thing that unified us for three years running.  Every Saturday morning, we'd roll out of bed, meet up at the Chapel, hear Mass, and round up a group of equally bleary-eyed students to drive into D.C.  In all kinds of weather, every Saturday of those three years we'd stand on the sidewalk of 16th and 'L' praying the Rosary.

We prayed for the men and women who were probably choosing to terminate the life of their child.  Some chose out of fear, others out of poverty, and sadly, some as a form of birth control.  My heart would break with every young woman I saw walk in, but I never judged, for I realized how easily it could have been me.  I'd been date-raped as a freshman and never told anyone, but I remember thinking that I hated this man so much I could never carry his child.  The idea of killing a child, my child, goes against every natural instinct.  But I remember and still feel the terror, the uncertainty of not knowing what to do.  And I know that each woman that walks into those clinics are just as scared as I was then.

There were Saturdays when I felt like a hypocrite and coward, that I had no right to ask these men and women to reconsider taking the life of their child, when the year before I might have done the same.  But standing on the sidewalk with Brenden by my side, I felt safe, sheltered by a big wall.  It was such a comfort to have his big, booming New York voice echoing off the buildings.  I don't think he ever knew that I was so wracked with self-hate and hypocrisy.  He was a rock of stability for me on those Saturdays.

We've bumped into each other a couple of times since we graduated and each time he greets me with a giant hug and a good solid thump on the back, but outside of that our daily lives haven't intersected.  So when I got the news on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, I felt the wind knock out of my lungs.

"No, it can't be like that!" I yelled in my head, so as not to make the Kiddo think that Momma has completely lost her marbles.   "He's too young, he's got an even younger wife, and three kids.  He's a good man, a hard worker, someone so intelligent it's down-right eerie."

And just like that, my writing world ground to a halt.  I've been unable to think without wanting to cry.

So here I am, up waaaaayyy too late again.  Writing this out has been cathartic for me, but it hasn't changed the situation.  A friend of mine has cancer, I'm not sure of what will happen next, and all I know is that cancer sucks!  I wish I could fix this, I wish I could take the cancer away from him and his family.  But I can't.

But I can pray.  And that's what I'll have to do everyday.  I'll be like a little annoying fly, buzzing around God's head:
Me: "Buzz, buzz, Hey God" (in a totally sing-songy voice).  "You gotta heal Brenden."
God: "Stop buzzing in My ear."
Me: "Buzz, buzz, not yet.  You gotta heal Brenden before I go away."
God: "Leave me alone."
Me: "Nope. Buzz, buzz."
God: "OKAY! Geez! I'll do it. Would you please leave Me alone now so I can watch those morons from the Jersey Shore stomp all over Rome?  Ya know, The Situation should really be thanking ME for those abs."
Me: "Yea, I bugged the crap out of God!  He listened to me!"
I buzz off to do a buggy dance and then fly into the Celestial bug zapper because my life is just like that. 

Alright God.  I'm not leaving until you heal Brenden. 

I'd totally get one of these shirts, to support Aunt Becky @MommyWantsVodka and Brenden, but the Kiddo can read and I don't need him telling me I get a bad mark for wearing it