The Spin Cycle topic for the week was "What if?" It was a hard one for me. I like where I am in life and where it seems to be heading. I have a wonderful wife and a great son -- well, most of the time at least. I like my job and I rarely want for anything. As a result, I rarely play the "what if?" game with my life. So I was about to pass on this week's Spin Cycle (please forgive me for even thinking it Jen) and then the one thing that I play "what if?" with came to mind. It's not my usual light fare...
What if... my mother had not refused to go to the GYN for her regular checkups for no other reason than she didn't feel like it?
What if... They had caught the the cancer earlier, before it moved from her ovaries to the rest of her body?
What if... she never had to go through all the pain of surgery and chemo?
What if... She never had to be an inspiration for others by supporting them in the chemo ward and walking in benefits?
What if... I never had to watch the light fade from my mother's eyes?
What if... With the help of some wonderful hospice workers, we didn't have to take care of her broken shell of a body after that light had faded?
What if... I didn't have to go through that dark period of loss?
What if... I never had to see my Grandfather, tough as nails, raised in Hell's Kitchen, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, set aside a book on "Dealing with the loss of a child" when I would go visit?
What if... I never had to realize that not only did I lose a mother, but my grandparents also lost a daughter, and my father lost a wife?
What if... My mother lived past the age of 42?
What if... She had been able to see me get married, dance at my reception, and cry tears of happiness mixed with a wistful nostalgia of when her son was little?
What if... She had gotten to meet her grandchild and spoil him and do wonderful (and stupid) things that her son would then later blog about?
What if... I didn't feel compelled to be on the local board for the American Cancer Society just so I could do something.. anything?
What if... One day there was a cure and no one ever had to write a "what if" about a parent, or a child, or a friend, or a loved one?