by Krys Malcolm Belc

December 25, 2017

I cannot take my children hiking without them mentioning babcia and dziadek and how they like to hike. Did you know they are going to take me camping one day? they say. Our children have seen their grandmother for the last time although she is still alive in a living room in Queens. That last time the only game they could play with her was sleepover; one would lie next to her like it is a fun thing to do, lying next to a woman with a dying brain. On the news we watch silently while we eat. We hear that Senator McCain says his cancer is very serious; it’s a very poor prognosis. He says: Now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find and do the best we can. And at the same time, celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived. In Arizona, in Queens, it is the same everywhere. Brains give way, cannot tell bodies to get up and hike, to get up and go to work. Glioblastoma: glia, from the Ancient Greek meaning glue; blasto – also from Ancient Greek, meaning shoot – not like from a gun, but like from a tree, I like to think. Next to any mountain our children look so small and so weak, but they remain sturdy, firmly glued in place, every little limb waiting patiently for a signal to wake up and move forward.