My cousin died today. She was 44 years old. 44. I don’t know…as I say it, it sounds older than it is. When I was a kid, I thought 40 was old. Well, I’m not a kid anymore and believe me, it goes by in a heartbeat. We grew up together; laughed and ran on the beach with her dogs, first Samson, then Moxie. They were beautiful Labradors. She was a city girl and didn’t like getting her feet scratched on the rocks, so she always wore sneakers or sandals, even in the water. I remember thinking it was weird. How is it possible that she was so alive and full of energy then and now in a blink, she’s gone? Will anyone remember her? Did her struggles in life really matter? I hear she’s being cremated. So her body won’t even be left behind. It’s so strange. Surreal. When I think of her, there’s just this empty void and a big hole in my heart. I have this anvil pressing on my chest so heavily that I feel like my lungs will collapse. She was diagnosed last April. One year ago, almost to the day. Breast cancer. She was going to beat it. Like everyone else when they first get sick. I often wonder how I’d react if I got cancer. I don’t think I’d be so optimistic. My father died of cancer. When I was 15. I watched him whither away. Now, when I hear cancer, I secretly think it’s an automatic death sentence. Of course, I don’t tell people that. Outwardly, I encourage their hope…..
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- Written by: Joyce Storey