Dear Joe

July 28, 2010
By Anonymous

Dear Joe,
I'm Beth
Well, Elizabeth, but I HATE when people call me that
I bet you'd understand
Mommy said your name was going to be Joseph
Don't worry, I would've called you Joe

Dear Joe,
We talked about siblings today in class
I said I would've had a twin
But he died before we were born
The teacher got really quiet after that
I don't know why; Mommy says it's nothing to be ashamed of
She says we should always keep you in our hearts

Dear Joe,
Today, I had to go to a doctor
He gave me a pretty gown, with dinosaurs on it
But it had a hole in the back, so I was cold
He and Mommy used lots of big words I didn't understand
Joe, what is cancer?

Dear Joe,
I know what cancer is now
It's when your body stops working
And you have to stay in bed all the time
At a place called a hospital
It's very white here

I can hear Mommy crying
The doctor pats her on the back, then comes to me
I'm scared of the doctor
He pokes me with sharp metal things
And messes with my insides
They thought I was asleep
But I saw him, Joe!

You know, sometimes I think I see you
Like right now
When the doctor said I was gonna die
You're over there, comforting Mommy as she cries
And now you're here
Smiling at me
Why are you smiling when everyone else is so sad?
There's a lot of loud noises
And it's slowly getting darker
No more white
Am I dying?
Is this what it feels like?
I wonder...
Is this how you felt?

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