C Battle – A Poem for My Cousin

The sun sets on your battle with the C

It’s orange rays shining sadness on a war

Well-fought but ending in irreplaceable loss

There should be no shame in your choice

Although the disappointment is heavy

Like the curtain of dark clouds that await the sun’s last bow

Look towards the beacon of light – it is not as distant as it seems

Only good memories will be in the spotlight

Hold your head high and savor the last notes

As they crescendo like those

Cresting waves of C that sought to bring you under

Your choice to let go deserves applause and a standing ovation

Rest, then ready your sail for the next adventure

Image credit- Pixabay-Thommas

This poem was written for Sadje’s “What do you see?” Picture Challenge #26 and Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #229 – Choices.

I also wrote it for my cousin in Texas who is in the last stages of cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago. She beat it once but when it returned again, the prognosis was not as good. They didn’t think she would make it to Christmas of last year so we held a huge birthday party for her in September. But she held on, and had time to visit with family here and in the Philippines. Through it all, she was in extreme pain and had lost the use of one side of her body. This past week, she took a turn for the worse and was admitted to the hospital. She decided that she was done fighting. Yesterday morning, she had minor surgery to insert some tubes so she could be more comfortable. She will be saying her final goodbyes this weekend and has decided that she wants to go home to die instead of to a hospice.

When I saw Sadje’s picture prompt, I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. Then I started getting news of my cousin and the week flew by. This morning, I looked at the picture again and I finally noticed the lighthouse in the distance – a beacon of hope in this intense picture.

Patrick’s prompt (like so many of his prompts) resonated with what I was experiencing this week. I know making this choice is a painful one for my cousin, but it is what is right for her. She leaves behind two young adult daughters, both her parents and stepparents, two siblings and their children, and all of us, cousins and our families.

Amidst this pandemic, the ebb and flow of illness and health, life and death, happiness and sadness still occur.

(c) 2020 iido

40 thoughts on “C Battle – A Poem for My Cousin

  1. Pingback: In response to the prompt, What do you see; Irma- C Battle – A Poem for My Cousin – Keep it alive

  2. Oh dear Irma..i was tearing reading your poem …getting sick alone is very hard ..but to fight the battle against C is indeed the worst one could ever go through. Your poem just says it all…and i love how your “voice” on your cousin’s idea of choosing her urn and saying her last goodbyes..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mich. It is awful – breast cancer runs in my family and also took my grandmother in much the same way. At least my cousin can go home and be with family. They weren’t letting anyone come to the hospital because of coronavirus concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks. We all were so prepared for this moment but suddenly it is here and acceptance is just so impossible. We are all hurting. She called me tonight to say goodbye. I take my hats off for her strength. No complaints. She only asked for prayers and to watch over her daughters.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. your last line in the post says so much. am glad she’s with family and everyone is respectful of her choice and are honouring her life. some decisions need to be made no matter the current circumstance. I pray for peace upon her and your family as you navigate this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some decisions are hard to make but necessary. This is a lovely tribute to the one who fought valiantly but knowing the end needs her privacy and own time. Salute to her spirit. Irma, you wrote such a moving ode to her. Have you shared it with her?

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Pingback: What do you see # 26- A roundup – Keep it alive

  8. This is written with such sensitivity, Irma. It’s a hard choice but more and more I can see that letting go is better than struggling to survive through the pain and the loss of so much previously enjoyed and taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Moon ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #230 – Pix to Words

  10. Much love to you and her and all your family.

    I wasn’t sure at first. The C could also be Covid. It’s incredible how all other diseases get pushed our of our minds these days. Except if you have it or a loved one does, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Surrender – A Poem for My Cousin | I Do Run

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