The fourth part of an ongoing series
A few notes before I start this post. I know it’s been a few months since I wrote anything so my apologies for that but things are finally starting to wind down for us and getting back to normal. I just haven’t had the drive to write lately and honestly, have been tired in the evening – the time I normally blog.
Second, this post will deal with the topic of religion and the role its played in my life, so the language may be a little too much to handle for some. But understand where I’m coming from and what we were going through. Thanks.
Going back to work after hearing word of the official diagnosis was tough, but I had to do it.
As I walked to my desk, a coworker asked how Ann was doing. I just looked at her and shook my head, then continued to my desk where I grabbed a tissue and wiped away tears that had started to form. The coworker stood there for a second then slowly walked away as if she regretted asking.
But sadness was just one of the emotions I was feeling at the time. I was also extremely upset and angry about how life was taking a really strange twist for us. Regardless of what I was feeling, I had to get myself back into work mode and take care of business.
Gina, whom I sit next to, showed up at her normal time and asked how everything was going. The two of us are close – she’s the person in the last story of this blog post and I find it easy to talk to her about almost anything. Although I had been giving her updates via text/Messenger, I still felt the need to talk to her about everything that was going on so we went outside and sat on the patio to chat.
And it was a good, therapeutic talk. She told me that her mom had the same procedure done years ago with the cancer was completely removed and after all her follow-up tests, she is still cancer-free. It then turned into a big, fat philosophical discussion that lead to personal beliefs which we share.
Basically, we’re spiritualists. We believe that doing good and being good do not require the shackles of religion and that any act of kindness can’t automatically be attributed to God or whatever. Goodness is ingrained in people. We do good things. No bible required.
Even so, I was having a difficult time with this.
“You know, sometimes it’s okay to believe in something bigger, whatever that might be. If that’s what helps pull you through then I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” she said.
I hadn’t prayed in years. I left the Catholic church as an adult when I realized their teachings no longer aligned with the person I was becoming, so I wasn’t sure that her way of thinking would be right for me.
In any case, I thanked her for the time and gave her a big hug to show her my appreciation, then we went back to our desks and started working.
After the long day at the office was done and the kid was in bed for the night, I sat at my desk with a candle burning and got lost in some old pictures. I don’t know why I did this.
All of my photos are organized in folders by date and, if necessary, the event or place we visited. I have thousands of images saved on an external hard drive and DVD backup and could be here all night looking at them.
I guess that might have been my intention – and my mistake.
I kept opening folders. My eyes started to well up as I recalled all of the little things he did when he was an infant, his giggle, everything. And then I got to this picture from 2005 and it was all over.
I don’t know what it was about it; it could have been the first picture I came across with Ann and Anthony together. I stared at it for a minute and started to really cry.
My wife, the one I’m supposed to grow old with, the one I promised to give my life to, the mother to my only child, was lying in the living room asleep on the couch – and had cancer growing inside of her.
The world suddenly got smaller as I thought about Dad and how young he was when he had passed away and how unfair it was to everyone in my family. I thought about his funeral and the seven short years we had together. What kind of cruel creator would subject people to this kind of nonsense?
Crying turned to loud sobbing as I stared at that picture for even longer, my mind racing a mile a minute.
“I don’t know what I’d do without her. Why her? What the hell has she done?”
Thoughts turned into words as I looked to the sky and spoke up.
“SHE HAS NEVER HURT ANYONE IN HER LIFE AND DOES NOT DESERVE THIS. What, taking my dad at a young age wasn’t enough for you? Now you see it fit to give my own wife cancer? With all the evil in the world, this is your plan for her? She’s a mother, goddamnit! Can’t you see that? I mean, FUCK. Can you be more cruel?”
Everything was piling up on me. My heart was pounding and I had reached my breaking point. Finally I got up out of my chair and with both hands, flipped off the heavens and raised my voice.
“FUCK YOU, GOD! JUST…FUCK YOU! YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! AND FUCK YOUR PLAN.”
I sat back down and laid my head on the desk, crying uncontrollably. I had no regrets over what I had just said because I meant every single word.
And what little faith I had in God or a god was officially gone.