What today was like

The following is an allegory. Don't wish to offend anyone who is suffering/has suffered or has a loved one who is suffering/has suffered.

You know what today was like?


Imagine you had this really awesome uncle you spent time with every winter and spring while your parents worked.

None of your friends or family could ever understand what you saw in him.

He was a wierdo, as far as they were concerned. He talked with a funny accent, he dressed oddly, he never married, he had this gruff demeanor with strangers and he wasn't sociable at family parties or gatherings. He had a big nose and kept bumping into things and falling down.

"Why do you hang out with him?" they'd ask. "He's old and boring and weird."

But you saw something in him the others didn't.

He had this sharp sense of humor, but he'd only share it with you and you got all of his jokes. He told you a million awesome stories of his youth and adult life. He took you to cool movies and loaned you all these fascinating books that you'd never find in the school library and none of your friends had ever heard of.

Despite what the other people who didn't really take the time to get to know him said, you thought your uncle was the greatest guy in the world, and you couldn't imagine spending the winters and springs without him.

And then one day he catches cancer.

And he slowly begins deteriorating, bit-by-bit.

And you hear the other people talk about how he's getting worse, how it's noticeable.

And the doctors say he doesn't have much time left.

But you're in denial and don't believe it.

Maybe you just don't want to believe it.

You ask your uncle, "Do you have cancer? How bad is it?"

He assures you everything is fine and people are just making up rumors because they never liked him in the first place. "They just don't want you to hang out with me," he explains.

So you believe him, without even questioning it.

So you keep on having good times with him, and on the days you can't have good times, when he says he can't make it, you make excuses for him. Oh it's his ankle, his tricky knee, his broken nose.

He keeps having accidents though, and it takes him longer to recover than it used to.

And then out of the blue, the doctor says the treatments have been working and the cancer seems to have gone away, he's cured.

Your uncle looks good. He's hanging out with you again and you're having as much fun with him as ever like nothing has changed, seeing movies, going to ballgames.

And you want to shut up everyone who ever doubted your uncle.

You want to gloat about how you were right and they were wrong.

But oddly enough, your friends and family aren't being apologetic or magnanimous. On the contrary, they're all still highly skeptical of your uncle's health.

They all say your uncle still doesn't seem healthy, that he doesn't look right. They don't trust the doctor's diagnosis. They notice all of your uncle's grimaces when he's moving around, the faces he makes when your attention is elsewhere.

You just can't see what they're seeing.

You think they're just jealous or bitter for being wrong.

You don't want to see what they're seeing.

You're in denial.

And then, just when you're set to throw a big birthday party for him, the doctor calls.

You answer the phone this time.

The doctor said he misread the chart. Not only does your uncle still have cancer, but he's got it really bad now. He truly doesn't have very much time left to live.

And this time you see your uncle. He is weak and sickly. Old and frail. For the first time you really see what others have seen all along.

And he just doesn't have the energy to fake it with you anymore.

And that's it.

Now that you both know, there's no point in him fighting it anymore.

So he just decides to die.

It's like a light switch he just turns off, without any pomp or ceremony.

Light fades to black, his eyes get dull.

His body goes cold, limp.

It takes seconds.

He's gone.

And that's what today was like.

This is fan-created content on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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