Posted by Danny
I knew the day would come. At some point in my life I would have to return to the Cancer Center at Duke.
Thank God it was just a meeting for work that brought me back there.
I always get a knot in my stomach when I turn onto the Durham Freeway. This time, I had to get off at the Trent/Elba exit. I knew exactly where to go. My memory had not faltered.
As I pulled up to the stop sign at the top of the exit, my heart rate increased. I opened the compartment between the front seats – a leftover pass from 2010 would cover my parking fee for the hour. It was the last one. Maybe I should save it.
Was I temporarily insane for wanting to hold on to the small green coupon? Would I cashed in a memory when I gave it to the attendant?
I met a friend in the parking deck – he didn’t know me before. As we meandered through the walkway from the deck to the building, a rush of emotion bowled over me. Interestingly, the slide show of memories were mostly of laughter. The two of us in that waiting room – she laughing at my jokes. Getting temporarily stuck on the elevator, the one with the big red stripe. A huge mirror behind the toilet in the radiation wing – what an interesting view of myself –
I could picture her in a wheelchair – that was not my wife. Her fanny pack of 5-FU, the chemo cocktail of choice.
I had forgotten the pattern of the tile. It was clear today. Before my head hung low, the design blurred by tears.
I had gotten used to the troops in hospital fashion. They stood out now – their rubber shoes and names embroidered on their white coats.
I was intentionally focused in my meeting, my mind was alert.
And then I drove off to where I live now.
Sometimes pain visits, but he doesn’t live with me now.