Aunt Mary

My mother’s sister Mary died ofmultiple myeloma at age 50 in 1959 and I grew up thinking it was the worstcancer anyone could have and it may have been back in those days. They reallycould do nothing for her other than give her pain medicine as the tumors grewinside her bones and broke them. To this day, I have not told my mother that Ihave multiple myeloma because I am not sure she could cope with that. She knowsI have cancer in the bone marrow and she may suspect it, but I couldn’t saythose words to her after Mary’s tragic death.

Therealization of our mortality came slowly, in dribs and drabs, until we bleaklyacknowledged that everything was on loan to us for a short time – the world,our possessions, the people we knew and loved. But we could not spend our timedwelling on our mortality; we still had to behave as if the worst would nothappen, for otherwise we would not do very much, we would be defeated and giveup.