1000 Paper Cranes for Mom
Last month, near Easter I found out my Mom has breast cancer. I vividly remember reading the email from my Dad in total and complete mouth gaping disbelief. They’d known for 2 weeks prior but had been making all the Big Decisions that come with this type of diagnosis. The following week she went in for a mastectomy. Today was her first day of chemo.
When my brother died when I was barely 14 I thought we’d had enough shit for one lifetime. But then, This. Cancer. A child and then a breast, it is almost poetic.
And wow, grief. Big fat ugly motherfucking grief. It just came up all over again. Anger. It is there, too. And the relentless never worth it question; Why?! Fear. Yup, that too. I’m not any younger, my brother isn’t any more alive and Cancer isn’t any less relentless.
People, being the caring loving creatures that they are, have been encouraging me that it is only Stage 2. And I get that, I really do. But it is my Mom. And there just isn’t any other way of putting it into words and the tears tell the rest of the story.
I’ve been feeling helpless, confounded, literally shocked and in disbelief since I found out. Like grief, it come in waves. And tonight, this first day of chemo for Mom, the tears appeared. But then a clearing and a thought.
Seeing as Mom was a brilliant math professor for 40 years and because of she and Dad, I got the privilege of growing up in Japan, it might be time to employ a Japanese folktale.
The folktale states that whoever makes 1000 paper cranes gets their wish granted. So here’s mine: Fuck off, Cancer. So far I’ve solicited 4 crane makers and counting? Let’s do the math! 1000 cranes/ 5 months = 200 cranes per month.