Disease has a peculiar way of grabbing hold of life and not letting it go. Many think of it as a mangy dog with a bone stolen off the dining room table—jaws clenched on the delicacy, head shaking violently from side to side.
The innocent girl witnessed decay and death at an early age, and was told only that it was a part of life she should grow accustomed to. Every time she’d visit her great-grandfather, the same stories would be told, the same items brought to attention. His epic tales of war, though skimpy on details, stopped giving her chills after a while and she became irritated and impatient, as most children did. “Just pay no mind to it,” she was constantly told, and always tried to act enthused when listening to him. Age caused her to become more aware of herself and her actions, and she noticed that she would make significant efforts to avoid conversation during visitations. Excuses, excuses…her parents would say, as she said, “I have homework,” or better yet, “I have to play with the dog”.
Several years passed, and these ups and downs balanced out at a steady decline. Everyone knew it wouldn’t be long when outbursts of anger, worry, and hysteria were now his defining factors. The disease not only affected his mind, but his physical appearance as well; his thick, white hair the only thing not tainted by the infirmity. His bones assumed the form of those in corpses, increasingly prominent and brittle as weeks went by.
Hospitalized with a deadline stamped on his forehead, the family decided to visit him frequently as possible. One day, the girl felt she needed closure as her familial members exited the small, cramped dispensary. She walked up to the seemingly lifeless body, and whispered all of her regrets and came clean of her naivety. She kissed him on the cheek, and he, though not having spoken in months, looked at her in such a way that she felt he could comprehend her words. Two days later, the funeral date was announced. On February 8th, 2010, he was placed in the ground with a ceremony unlike any the girl had seen before.
The truth is, we only see what we want to see, whether we do it intentionally or subconsciously. She chose to see the light in things, and that is how she recollects.