My kid sister, the recluse.
I’m used to not hearing from her for weeks.
Or months. Or years. Here she is
a single woman with a house full
of feline friends and end upon end
of memories of Mom and Dad.
I’m glad she called, but she sounded sad.
A nervous shake in her voice makes me
worry for her. I’m not sure why she
refuses to assimilate, but it’s not too late.

“How are you? It’s your sister.” her greeting.
No aspersions on my sister sib,
but that caring ad lib is not her style.
Usually she calls when she needs something.
She needs something. “You are the historian
of the family; the genealogist, right?” she starts.
My heart aches for her desperation;
one of my fears. “Are you aware
of a history of Ovarian Cancer in our family?”

Her tears flow now. And a man of words didn’t know
the right ones to used so as to comfort her.
All past indiscretions become forgiven.
She’s been living with this secret in silence.
I am moved to violence toward this wretched disease.
Too many have died and I’ve tried to understand.
But the demands on my descendants leaves remnants
of memory and little else. I made some calls, consulted
charts looking for facts; for answers. I did not want to guess.
And then my tears fell. Her answer is “Yes.”

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014



2 thoughts on “MIXED MESSAGES

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