Happy the Man
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
by John Dryden (1631-1700)
To the untutored eye metastasized bladder cancer eats a man from the inside out, leaving skin covered bones.
My father, 93, lay in the hospice bed in a Twilight of the Lost. Down the hall, a cellist played Bach’s Suite Number 1 for cello to another soul facing eternity, Mrs. Z. The music halted, started up again, halted, then went on for a spell. Mrs. Z would pass early on while my father lingered. Periodically he’d clasp onto his catheter and needed to be reminded he could relieve himself any time. A urinary drainage bag hung from a bed rail with a clear plastic tube snaking under the sheets. The liquid a deep orange.
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