Sunday, December 15, 2013

To My Next 30 Cancer-Free Years

As published on The Huffington Post

My friend did not want to celebrate her 30th birthday. She hadn't accomplished what she had expected. She drowned in a void -- her hollowness filled with a ticking clock, save-the-date cards, movies and shows with typical American happy endings. To her, 30 was not part of the linear ascent but rather a cliff. "You can either feel young or wise," she said.


There are many things to count besides years of living. As a boy I counted my baseball cards; specifically the ones with Ken Griffey, Jr., and Cal Ripken, Jr. I counted the minutes until I was allowed to finish practicing piano. I counted each passed week during summer break, glowing after only one and sulking with only a few left.

When I was 16 and 17, I watched the hour-countdown on my IV pump, rejoiced at the beep, watched the next hour-countdown, rejoiced at the next beep. I counted the drips of anti-tumor drugs. Some staggered, clumped together and formed one large drip. Others followed one after the other. I counted down until bedtime so that I could begin again the next day. Keep reading, here.


Catherine said...

Wonderful post. In life we have so much to count down - and expectations do change. They change so much, or at least I reckon they should as we realize there are not straight roads to follow. Happy birthday to you :) Being in your thirties is awesome.

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Thanks, Catherine! Now that I'm entering my thirties I hope to use "reckon" so much more frequently, and as well as you used it. You're not the first to tell me the thirties rule.