Losing Beauty

I remember her laugh. How it shattered like dishes crashing together. Not harmonious, yet beautiful anyhow. Her eyes looked sad, distant, yet her body language was capturing the moment, in the moment. I kept thinking there is always hope because despite everything I tell myself, I am an optimist in writing other people’s futures. For me, I’m a happy pessimist, yet for others, I always have a silver edging to the storm clouds, a hope buried in a lead balloon. Her sense of humor matches mine, and now, she was told by the best team of doctors they’ve done the best they can. There’s nothing more they can do for her.

Can you imagine throwing your son’s graduation party and knowing you won’t be able to see him graduate from college? Won’t get to meet the girl he’s going to marry? Hold your grandbabies? Her world must be shattered. “Nothing more we can do for you.” What terrible words. I keep hoping for a miracle. I keep begging for things to change. Her family and her friends are devastated. I don’t know how you hold yourself together after hearing news like that.

I just hope she can manage to find happiness. Not mark through every day with a black X on the calendar and wonder if tomorrow’s the day that Death decides to take you.

I worry about her, but this is out of my element, out of my realm. I prayed for her with my mother, but at this point, what would prayer even do? I know there are miracles, and things can change, but I feel so hopeless. So deflated. I remember the tale my friend Bridget used to tell me when we were in grade school. How the doctors gave her grandmother six months to live, and the O. Henry twist was always, “and that was TEN years ago!”

I always loved that story because it gave me hope, it made me believe in miracles. Now, I’m older and slightly less believing of miracles. I will hope because that’s what I do, but I know this kind of hope is dangerous because in all likelihood, we will lose a very beautiful woman.

And this world needs beauty, real authentic beauty, not the plastic, cheap, disposable kind.

-L.G.

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