“How could you say that life is fair, knowing this was coming?” she whispered while using a stubby finger to trace the letters of her brother’s name on the marble headstone. He’d just turned fifty-three when the brain tumor took him five days ago. “It’s just not fair, not at all.”
Her dying mother’s final breath and her sister’s pain-filled last days weighed heavily on her mind. Lung cancer. At the end, both were barely more than skin-draped skeletons.
She had never known her father. He’d died when she was still an infant. Doctors said they’d found a mass in his stomach. Inoperable.
A gust of cold December wind caused her to draw her thin sweater tightly to her plump body. A few red and gold maple leaves spun and twirled along the winding asphalt drive, making faint ticking and flicking sounds as they passed.
Another brother, the one closest to her own age, was currently in the care of hospice workers. No chance of survival. If he lived until Friday he’d be lucky. If, that is, being fed through a tube and having a constant flow of morphine running into your veins could be considered lucky.
Speaking of luck, five days ago her own doctor had given her only a few short weeks to live. The one remaining lung had finally let her down, as had the toxic one they’d cut from her body two years before. Never smoked a single cigarette in her life. Not even a puff. How’s that for good fortune?
The night she received the devastating news from the physician, she’d sat, alone, looking through tears at yellowed and tattered photograph albums, wondering how she would make use of her remaining time.
And that’s the moment she’d understood the meaning of her brother’s words.
Life is more than fair.
It’s death that is so unjust.
She stood and brushed the freshly-turned grave dirt from her knees and walked toward her family, vowing to spend her remaining time living and fighting, not dying.
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