Lucky Me

bigcWe lost Cathy last night.  She went quietly in her sleep after eating a nice piece of homemade pie.

Paul almost made it with a bouquet of peonies just for Cathy.  She’d wanted them at their wedding, but her father bought carnations instead.

She made peace with her father, and then he staggered out of the room with a hangover.

She told Andrea to go ahead and go to New York, to do it for herself and for Cathy.

Adam worked hard to graduate early, just so she could see her son graduate before she left.

And Sean gave his kidney to a stranger.

And when Cathy passed, Marlene and Thomas were there waiting for her by the pool.

I learned a lot by watching The Big C these past years. If anything, I learned it’s okay to laugh at death.  It’s going to come, regardless of what we do. Death is stubborn, but it shouldn’t be scary. And whether God is there or not, or our loved ones, or our hospice nurse, we still have to greet death alone.

It is a test. We have to prepare ourselves to leave, but our loved ones and friends must do the same. We can be selfish, though we might not want to. We just don’t want to get in the way.

And our health system will fail us. There is no compassion there. If you watched last night, you saw Cathy getting kicked out of the Hospice center because her insurance would only cover four months and they wouldn’t take cash. “I want to die here,” Cathy said. “Well, you have until Friday to do it,” her case worker said.

I have experienced that myself lately with doctors and tests that cannot show any results for the pain I’m feeling, with an insurance policy that barely covers the bill.  Sometimes I’d rather just suffer with it than continue to pay for nothing.

But in the end, lucky us. We get to leave this world and all our troubles behind. It’s not the hours in the life, but the life in the hours that matters. But it takes a death for us to see that, and sometimes then it’s too late.

Nah, it’s never too late.

Lucky me.


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