Constant Reminders

I can’t stand crossword puzzles. I feel the same about soduku, Solitaire, video games and trashy magazines. And right now as I write this, the woman next to me is busily playing Soduku on the back of a pile of trashy magazines on her lap. I think she’s doing this out of spite.

It’s not that I dislike numbers, cards, the television or gossip, instead, it’s the wasted time they represent. And it’s time I will never have. Brooke plans for the day when it will be easier. The day when we’ll have only two jobs, the day that we’ll have the time to relax, the day that cancer is cured. I tell her we have a mission; one that can’t wait for the last hand of solitaire or the latest Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie rumors. And so we read grant briefs at stoplights, enter donations before bed and email families even before making breakfast. Still, there’s never enough time. If only I could have some of this lady’s soduku time for another fundraiser or email – she’s not even using it.

Tonight we learned once again how little time we have. As if we needed the reminder. And a boy that was close to our heart who lost his battle with the villain we know as cancer. That’s time we’ll never get back. He’s a hero that we’ll never forget. Solitaire and soduku can wait forever as far as I’m concerned.

I sigh once again while I write. Maybe if I sigh one more time, she’ll realize the error of her ways and help us in the fight. Or maybe the next clue of her crossword puzzle will be “the main segment of childhood cancer death that is diagnosed 9 times each day”. And with 20 letters, she’ll fill out “pediatricbraincancer” and join us in the fight. But that’s just wishful thinking. I look outside and see the signs of spring. Funny how I never really noticed it on the drive here. I guess I miss much of that anymore. All I can think of are the children – all I can think of is Elena.

It is the constant reminder that I don’t want. And while it keeps us going, it is also what forces us to enjoy what we have – the warmth of Gracie’s hand in mind as we walk from school, the hug that I get before she goes to sleep (and after tickle-time), and the impatient jab she gives me now as she reminds me to close the computer and stop writing. Reminders I don’t want, but reminders I so desperately need. I hope one day we need them no longer.

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