Thursday, July 17, 2008

I feel as if I am looking at the world from the bottom of a well*

We walk on eggshells around eachother in the office.

The door to J~'s office is pulled, halfway closed. The lights aren't on in there.

His absence creeps across all of us like the disease that is trying to so hard to take him from us.

The four lawyers left here alternate between speaking in whispers to eachother, and freaking the f**k out in the privacy of our own offices, wondering what the hell is happening at the hospital 10 minutes away. Our doors are closed so much more than is normal. We are an office of sharers - our doors shut so that we can change a run in our hose, or meet with an upset client. Rarely do we shut eachother out. But, now....

He is the heart and soul of our small partnership. He is our moral compass. He is the only one who knows who owes us money, and how much. He is universally well-loved by each of us, by everyone, really, who knows him. Now his silly toys sit silently. His tiny remote control helicopter indefinitely grounded. Without his sense of humor animating them, they seem ridiculous. When he is here, they are hysterical.

I am his niece. The others pull me aside. "You have to keep it together. For Christ's sake, you have to keep it together. This is your obligation, to HIM, to J~, keep your shit together."

I nod, they hug me. Behind my closed office door I sink to the floor and cry into my knees.

My assistant takes files from my hand. "I will do this," she says, "and then this. Then you need to do that. Okay?" His assitant hands me things hesitantly, "Can you sign these? Can you answer this question? What should we do with x.y.z.?" I answer her, as best as I can. My voice doesn't sound right. How can I make decision for his clients? He is so much better at this than I am.

None of us can believe this is happening again.

He has slain this demon twice before. We are all holding our breaths, saying prayers of all shapes and sizes, that he will rise up triumphantly, again. That he will cut the head of this wretched, creeping killer, again, and raise it up triumphantly and throw it's corpse into the abyss. That he will lop off it's head, and that it will finally, finally stop stalking him.

Fuck cancer. FUCK cancer.

*Mike Doughty, Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well


Anonymous Nicki said...

((((hugs)))) My thoughts are with him so that he will be strong and fight the fight of and for his life.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 6:51:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

So sorry he is suffering cancer. I hope he heals and becomes yet another survivor.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Oh Gretchen,I'm so sorry. It's just not fair that he would have to fight this battle three times. Prayers for him, and for you too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Three times! I am so sorry. It isn't fair that he has to fight this three times. And for you to have to cope with it right on the heels of your husband being so sick it doesn't seem so fair for you either. Thoughts and prayers for you and him.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:47:00 PM  
Anonymous CB said...

So sorry...hy heart hurts and prays for you and your uncle.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger LaLa said...

{{{HUGS}}} I am so sorry...I HATE took my father from me and it sucks! I hope he kicks its butt again!!! Thinking of you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Cancer sucks. Three times is simply three times too many. I'm so sorry. :(

Friday, July 18, 2008 2:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I'm sorry I'm late to comment. Your uncle is in my thoughts. I hope that he's able to fight and win, yet again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:41:00 AM  

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