-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Peace - Dina Rabinovitch

Last year when Guardian Writer, Dina Rabinovtich succumbed to her cancer, I had asked Prat of the Purple Breeze to do a fictional writing exercise about her. It is only my fault that I had half-forgotten the piece she had wrote. My sincere apologies for the shameless delay but now with no further ado I am posting her piece as a guest-post on this blog.

But before moving onto the post, I suggest it would very helpful, especially for those who dont know Dina, to check how a brave woman she was here. Onto Prat:

She had liked him the minute she walked into his office. He was dressed in crisp black suit and smiled like a child. She’d just turned forty that week, and decided that it was time she got that small little lump in her breast examined. She’d neglected it for a while, thinking it was a bite and then a rash and then a reaction to the cold.

Just a routine check up and then work through the afternoon- coffee maybe with some friends. Now his face was solemn yet caring- he told her to erase the ifs and if nots of the past. Her mind raced through the craziness of the last few weeks, when she finally realised that time was catching up with her. The little lump led to some tests, a monogram, and before she knew it she was in the hospital bed. She saw the nurse walk towards her with the famed cold cap- so her hair wouldn’t fall off immediately. While she felt like giant mammoth being frozen to death, that’s when the tear drops began.


The record hummed slowly in the background, with those little barely noticeable screeches thrown in. She’d dug the record a few days ago- on one of those rare balmy afternoons when the air is nostalgic and makes you look for old melodies. Rare, yes, not because it was balmy, but because her legs could stand her weight while she rummaged through forgotten boxes in the basement.

She is lying on her side now, on the cream coloured sofa facing the large French windows covered in a cashmere shawl. Her sister was in the other room taking a nap, having left a bell a few centimetres from her.

You see, all this felt just like a bad nightmare. Through the strength she had left to bat her eyelids, she sometimes thought that another wink and it will all be over. Even a mere twitch would give her a dimension of the wastage her body has had to take post chemo. Two more weeks of radiation and will be as good a new, she remembered Dr. Morrision saying that morning with his gentle father-like smile.


She begged her body that morning. I am tired today and I finally have to admit that I am. I do not have the strength to fight on. Death of an only child, a bitter divorce, loss of a parent- isn’t that enough pain for me?

She was tired that day, she really was. Not with just what chemo does. But she was tired from the inside, she felt tired in her head. She felt as if even a bat of an eyelid, that most precious system with which she measured time between anything- meals, trip to the loo, sips of water- even that seemed so futile.

For what really is the point of such a battle? Once the generous showers of grey begin to appear in your hair, and your bones seem to creak more at the gym, what is it that you truly look forward to? Once the tumult of adolescence and the turmoil of teenage are over, once you’ve had all your phases including that time when you dressed in black, all Goth, and loaded your arm with a tonne of bracelets- what?


The sun filtered through the windows, and shone on her hands. She moved a finger to feel some life, and a tear drop accompanied. The battle has gone on long enough. She’s been fighting for two years now, using all her strength and prayers of the staff at the hospital. They were trying some experimental medication on her to decide what the best combination of chemo and radiation. How much before, how much after?

But she could feel it today. Very distinct. Almost like a colour floating by itself in a room. For the first time in a very long time, she was afraid.

Despite the love we gather, and the humility battles such as these seem to put into us, we are still afraid to ask for the smallest things that really matter. All she wanted that morning was to look at the kind face of someone she loved. She wanted someone to hold her wasted body. She wanted to feel the warmth of another person- where do you go looking for that, and how do you ask?

I am afraid to fall asleep tonight. The fear of an unending tomorrow keeps me up. I am just plain afraid. Will you come and hold me? But then it didn’t matter, she let go of all that she ever had and she had ever known and that was it. Unbelievably simple.


No comments:

Search Blog