February 1, 2008
By Caitlin McCluskey, Dania Beach, FL

It all started when
down came the towers like
two heaven-descended bricks.
It's an odd beginning
To a short-lived story.
But in more ways than one.
It was the beginning of the end.

Driving down the freeway
You started to get dizzy
We pulled to the side
For some air
It was just a spell of dizziness
After that disaster of a day

Months pass.
You're sick
Sicker than the flu
Sicker than a bowl of chicken soup could cure
Doctors say it's just a cold
But we all know you.
This is no cold.
But it does begin with C.

Like Christmas time
Begging with you to see the Lord of the Rings
As I sit in your hospital room
You break the news
"Honey. I have to have chemotherapy"
Like I'm ignorant or something
Don't know what chemotherapy is.
Come on, mom, get with it.
I scream and run away from you.
It's all happening too fast.
Too much to handle in just a breath.

But then I accept.
But I don't really understand.
Pretty soon
You say you're coming home
All better
Red pill yellow pill blue pill
They made you better.
To me, that meant:
cookies when I got home from school, having fun with you again
To you, that meant:
No more hospital food and IVs and doctors questioning

But in a snap
It all faded to black
And you were backsliding at a rapid rate
Hello Hospice
Goodbye hopes of happiness

Which then brought
Sleeping in hospital pulllouts
As you screamed
For us to stop hurting you
Give you more medicine
Make the pain stop
I cried with you.
"What's my name", i would shout.
In your feeble state
With your brain half gone to death
You would whisper
"Caitlin. Marie. McCluskey."
And make me feel like a bigger a**.

Then you were home.
Just like I wanted.
But no cookies when I got home from school
You didn't speak or move
Just lied in bed
Nothing could bother you.

I kissed you goodnight
and went to bed
But when I woke up at 2 AM
You had gone to bed too.

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