three weeks. that’s all it takes. hell, it only takes a day, really. for us it was three weeks, going from a seemingly normal life to fear and sadness. it’s like a hollywood story, really, with a happy ending, but the type of happy ending where things have changed. people have changed, one person physically, and the rest of us emotionally, mentally. none of us are the same now. none of us can go back to where we were before. we now have the scent of death lingering under our nostrils. and it’s okay. it was a wake up call after all, a jostling of our consciousnesses into the present. no more dwelling on the past or fretting about the future. we are all consciously here, now, aware of every waking second, aware of our breathing, aware of one man lying in a hospital bed, hoping desperately that his guts will start working again. embarrassment flies out the window–we’re all hoping he’ll fart. what a fucking insane hope is that to have.
it’s the christmas present nobody really wanted, but the one we got: a clean bill of health for a good man. the question still remains as to why an omnibenevolent being (if one exists) would give my brother colon cancer and then miraculously not have it spread. the prayers people leave for him are good natured but so strange … did they devil give him cancer? how does this work? it all is very odd, very hard to sift through, and likely a point of contention in my brother’s own head, much less the rest of us. i think truthfully that it is just a mutation of cells, and that when you think of cancer like that, it becomes less existentially and theologically scary. god didn’t do this to you, nor did the devil. it’s just biology, and biology in this case somehow kept the tumor from spreading.
life is amazing that way. we are made of trillions of tiny things, who themselves are made of trillions of even tinier things, and those tiniest things are little more than fluctuations in the basic building fields of the universe. did god or a god create them? who knows. science doesn’t care; they exist, that’s all science knows. and that’s where science and religion can agree, i think. when broken down to its fundamentals, the basics of physics exist simply because they do, because when the void is acted upon, it reacts in four fundamental ways. these fundamental forces exist because they do, that’s all. in religion, god exists because he does. when broken down, everything is a tautology, and that, i think, is the most fundamental mystery of them all.
so, in a very fundamental way, my brother’s cancer existed simply because it did. forces acted upon him and he was forced to react or be consumed. this is the absolute most basic way the universe works. it’s a beautiful thing.