Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 17: "Ok".

I just came back from visiting my aunt in the hospital. She is in the palliative care unit ending her fight with colon cancer. Although much of the situation is very sad, I left there with a smile on my face.

What a beautiful woman. What a beautiful soul. She was smiling and chatty the entire visit. She laughed when I scratched a horrible itch on her back. And she made me laugh when she mimicked the sounds that her stomach makes in between meals. And again afterwards when she said her sister (my grandma) is a little cuckoo (and she made the appropriate finger swirling in circles by the head gesture) when I complained about how my grandma ragged on me at Thanksgiving for not marrying my Portuguese ex-boyfriend.

Ahhh, she was so pleasant, so inspiring…. Made me feel like a dumbass for complaining about a headache today, or how it was cold outside, or how I got ambushed by the sprinkler system outside work and got into my car soaking wet and upset. Look at this woman. In pain, and smiling.

It’s a choice to smile when you know you are dying.

And her daughter, who has been there every night! Whose daily schedule is work, then visiting her dad at the home, then dinner, then rushing to the hospital to sit by her mom….My god! I could tell she was tired, but I could also tell she would never admit to it. She smiled and conversed with me, too. Definitely her mother’s daughter.

After an hour, as I went to kiss my aunt goodnight, she started reciting blessings. Wishing me luck in the future, and I interrupted her (with my broken Portuguese) to say that I’d visit her again. She stopped short with her sentence, nodded and with a smile she said, “Ok”.


  1. A very touching post. Should make us all reflect on what we find 'hard' in life. Good job and hugs for you.

  2. 'Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.'-Mark Twain. she is a fabulous and spirited woman, most obviously.... to choose to smile despite her life situation. awesome post, bella...

  3. Enjoyed reading your post cousin. Love you Lory