He used to say, “Being a Pueblo Indian isn’t easy… it’s very hard, but I’m not gonna chase you around to teach you. I’m here. Want to know a song, want to know something, just ask me.”
Once again the world has unfolded another ass kicking into my field. Death is for the tired and weak. Life is for those of us who are still strong enough to laugh at our pains and symptoms.
Uncle Tony fought hard in his corner every day for the last year and a half battling the beast of cancer and the heavy gloves of chemotherapy. He lost all his hair but stayed with us long enough to grow it back dark black. He was fearless to the very end – joking with us and teasing us as he went in and out of the pain. Playing hide and seek with cancer isn’t fun.
Tears well up in my eyes as I think of him in a stupid hospital gown, two doors down from where my Aunt Mary had just been a couple weeks earlier. I turned away as he smiled at me, “Don’t cry for me…”
How can you not cry? Especially when one of the strongest men I knew as a boy and as a man had dwindled down to fit in that small gown – stripped of dignity and honor. The cancer beat him down so hard that the littlest pressure to lift his body bruised him. He fought down the pain with morphine and still stood – staggering and holding his fist to an imaginary enemy – as he held his corner. He never gave up, even knowing that he only had two months to live.
I’m still crying a day after my birthday as I think about him. It makes me wonder about my own life. It makes me wonder about all the things i did.
I’m still bouncing around in my own corner, teasing fate with a loosely guarded chin. One day, just like any other day, it will be too late and I will cross left when I should have crossed right, stepping into the last punch from life’s deathly blow.
We all can contemplate what we have and have not done at that time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do that! I want to learn from others blood tastings. I will live the life I need today without regrets. I don’t believe in karma. My God doesn’t make mistakes.
If you think you’re living life, think again, as I have while holding the dry, soft hands of the dying while tear drops still stain my kiva blanket. I wish I could hold them all again, rewind to the days when we were all smiling and happy. Those days will never come back. Those evenings as I fell asleep in some wooded camp hearing my mom, grandpa, grandma, aunties and uncles laughing. Those mornings when I woke up to the same sounds.
Those days are gone forever. The light they made for us as children shines through us and burns everyday as we march into the arena of life and death. Meanwhile we all have our own fights, bloodied and knocked around by life’s toil and turmoil – tasting blood mixed with adrenaline, Prozac, morphine, tequila…the only way to live forever is to honor our past by not forgetting their knowledge and passing it on to the ones who will listen. The only worthwhile endeavor is, perhaps, to learn the language of our children – then and only then can we live forever.
However, who wants to live forever? Live now, like tomorrow will never come, laugh, smile and fail miserably in only the way you can.
Maybe tonight someone you love will leave you, pray that you have learned all there is to learn from her.
All my love my fearless warriors.
Yours very truly,
IN THIS INEVITABLE CORNER> The son of a prince….Mystical Mirabal Man…
golden is the glove that knocks you down for the last count.
my corner is forged by all that have passed on.
step away and I step in.
In the end I’m only human not a God,
the moment I dropped down, loosing faith was when I was hit.
give me a love that stains my kiva blankets with tears other than that it’s not enough.
that is the only love I will fight for.