Chalk it up to coincidence…



Chalk it up to coincidence…


Your sister battles end-stage colon cancer for 5 ½ years and finally succumbs to the disease in late October of last year. You still haven’t gotten a colonoscopy.  It all weighs heavily on you, daily.  You review punctuation use with your students, the uses of semi-colons and colons.  Your mind neurotically jumps from the little black grammatical marks to cancer to your sister to her absence to her death.  One day in February, you walk into the classroom in which you teach college English, greet the class, and raise the projector screen in order to write something on the chalkboard.  As you retract the screen, you discover two loathsome and ominous words, though legible, clearly written with little care and probably in haste, almost childlike in character: colon cancer.  You wonder if someone, a student, perhaps, did this on purpose, a macabre prank. Upon seeing this, you turn, speechless, to them, and register a look of disbelief.  They first respond with a collective, “what?” And quickly answer their own question: “Ohhhh.”  They know you recently lost your sister to the disease.  “Did she do this?” you ask yourself.  Could she do this?” you think, editing your previous thought.  She was the believer, not I.  Perhaps, my pearl did enter those proverbial gates and gain access to such means of communication.  You’re being foolish, you decide.  You’re grieving, after all, and hypochondriacal.   


One Response to “Chalk it up to coincidence…”
  1. Erika Robuck says:

    Chilling? Comforting? I’ve been reading a bio of Padre Pio (recently canonized Capuchin friar with the stigmata) by Bernard Ruffin, and for some reason, thought of you and your sister. He works miracles for the sick in body and spirit, among other things.

    I had a colonscopy when I thought I was sick in ’01. Not a big deal. The prep’s no fun, but it’s well worth it.

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