You are sick. We’re not sure what kind of sick you are. Perhaps it is something in the lungs, perhaps it is something in the brain. It’s not clear. You have to make sure that you understand that most importantly: it’s not clear. This thing can’t always be seen from the get-go. You can be fine one week. Living healthy, eating right, enjoying life. Then the next week, it hits you. Maybe it comes from an innocuous checkup or a visit to complain about a shortness of breath. Did the doctor call you or did he tell you in person? Were you alone or was a significant other there? Did you cry? Maybe you were angry? Are you one of those people who demands answers? How could this happen to you? Recovery is not impossible yet you’ve never been one to rally immediately. You begin what you have to do to survive.
Now, let’s see: how long have you been sick. Is it recent? The shock could still be setting in. That horrible feeling of everything being out of your control. Maybe you’ve been dealing with it for a while now? Maybe the shine has finally worn off the treatments and you’ve adjusted to normal life all over again? So you’re sick. So you’re dying. You probably think to yourself one day, walking outside: ‘Everyone is dying, I’m just doing faster than the rest of them.’ Faster than your coworkers. Faster than your friends. Faster than your family. The days are brighter and you take your time. You hold onto every day.
Who do you share the news with first? Your significant other? Do you hold their hand and tell them that night after dinner? Or do you call them after the diagnosis and cry in your car? How did they respond? Death never takes just one person. Did they cry too? Did they promise to be by your side and never leave you? Stay with you throughout everything no matter what? No matter how long it’ll take you to get better? No matter how long it may take you to…well, don’t think about it like that. Or do you tell your family first? Let your mother and father know? Your siblings? There’s nothing that’ll devastate a person faster. To look into their faces and tell them that you are sick and you don’t know if you’ll get better. When will you tell your friends? When will you tell your coworkers? When will you become another sick person?
You are sick. You don’t know if you’ll get better tomorrow, you don’t know if you’ll get better the day after, and you don’t if you’ll ever get better. Does the illness weigh you down or are you buoyed by the allotted time? A reason to take the chance to celebrate the time you have left. Nobody realizes how precious time is until they can’t avoid an expiration date.
Did you get all of that? Good. Now we can get started.
Edward Kos is a writer from New Jersey. His works have appeared in Crab Fat Magazine, East Jasmine Review, Yo-NEWYORK!, and The Roaring Muse.