Last night I had a phone conversation with a friend from Austin: a sophomore in college, a girl I adore, a dear soul who has been battling cancer for the past few years. She texted me while I fed the boys their dinner. She asked if we could talk that night. Oh, I dreaded that phone call. All through the bedtime ritual, I thought: Dear God, what is she going to tell me? I feared the worst. I prepared my heart. I thought about that need to hold both the sorrow and the joy, the beautiful and the broken, in one hand, all at once. I prayed for courage to walk with her through the worst.
Instead, that sweet girl called to say it was gone. The most recent set of tests had come back and the cancer was gone. She was clear.
What?! I said. And we laughed and the tears came and she said, Yes. And I said, What?! And she told the story and it was all miracle. Cancer free.
So I’m bringing back Poem-a-Day Friday with this one. It’s rich and hard and gritty in the very best way.
I dedicate it my friend: Cancer-free, baby! (It’s time to throw that party.)
The History of Red
BY LINDA HOGAN
Linda Hogan, “The History of Red” from The Book of Medicines. Copyright © 1993 by Linda Hogan.
Source: The Book of Medicines (Coffee House Press, 1993)