The Healing Trip (Part 3)

On my way to Savannah, I called Aunt Janice, my mother's stepsister who, being only a decade older than me, had been like a big sister to me my whole life. Aunt Janice had battled cancer for several years, but all-in-all, seemed to be doing okay. We spoke at least twice, sometimes three times a week and, when we did, our conversations could go on for hours. Aunt Janice entertained with her sharp wit and conversation whether she meant to or not. She could tell a story--any story--and leave you either weeping with grief or laughing hysterically. I rarely wanted our conversations to end, but she would grow tired or I would need to "get back to work." More importantly, for me, since my mother's

The Healing Trip (Part 2)

I arrived at Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia early on the morning of Friday May 17, 2019. My goal had been twofold: 1) to beat the heavy influx of traffic between Rincon, Georgia (where I'd spent the night with Aunt Janice, only 10 years my senior and, like my brother, also battling cancer), and 2) to insure that I didn't miss the doctors' visits, which tend to be before office hours or scheduled surgeries. I found my brother's room easily--we'd walked this path before. When I stepped through the open door, his eyes told me of his relief at my being there. Only the day before had he called--the day of his endoscopy--to tell me the grim news. The cancer had returned; it didn't look so g

The Healing Trip, Part 1

Two questions loomed during my brother's short illness: 1) How long could the torture of his sickness continue ... how much would it ask of us ... how would it leave us once it had had its way with us; and 2) should I cancel my trip to Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, set for the middle of September. The trip had been planned for some time--a tick of the bucket list box--and had its beginnings over two cups of coffee in a small cafe along Winter Park's picturesque Park Avenue. The very name summons lovely pictures, does it not? Brick streets, storefronts decorated with every imaginable bauble and frock, every delicacy and pretty for the home. There are bookstores and chocolate shops,

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