This is More Than Hard

It’s Sunday, 10:30 a.m.  I’ve been awake and up since the sun was invented and I’m sure it must be time — somewhere in the world — for a glass of wine.  A GYNORMOUS glass of wine.  I’m settling instead for a Strawberry Yogurt and a good cry.  I haven’t been able to sleep and  tears come easily to the sleep-deprived, and wine sounds good to the helpless.

Three days ago my sister called with news that my nephew has a bad growthy thing in his private part.  A Lance Armstrong thing, they’re thinking.  He goes to the surgeon on Tuesday to schedule a biopsy and whatever else may be needed.  My nephew lives in Florida; I haven’t seen him since he was four years old and not allowed to have private parts.

My sister asked me to say a Novena right before she asked me why Catholics pray to folks who were most likely boiled in oil three thousand years ago.  I shrugged.  Beats me, I answered.  I told her I’d say a Novena, which I haven’t done since I did one once on a lark 20 years ago and got back just about what I gave it — not much.  This time I’ll give it something.  I dug out an old book of Saints and Novenas from the 1950s when Catholics were into that.  Women wore hats to church too, but that’s another story.  I thumbed through the pages looking for the Saint of Private Parts, but in the end settled on someone whose picture didn’t make him look all wild and googly-eyed.

I’m doing the Novena.

But mostly I’m thinking about a scared young man and his mother who can’t do anything but knot a hanky in her hands and ask her non-churchy Catholic sister to say prayers and light candles.  I’m so bad at this.  What I do better than anything is to Google about growths in one’s nether-region.  To educate myself about options and treatments.  To eat yogurt and wish it was a big old cup of wine.  To stare outside at a few clouds and wonder — IF I sent a good thought into one of them —  would it make it all the way from Arizona to Florida by Tuesday morning?  That’s what I’m good at.  Googling.  Staring at the sky.  Wondering.

But waiting for whatever news may come?  This is more than hard.


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