The big C

24 September 2018 | Columns

Julienne van Rooyen

I was raised not to use the word hate, but I really hate you.

You robbed me of someone very special and she cannot ever be replaced. You took away the chance for her to see me finish school, get married, and to meet my children. She will not be around to teach them all the important things that she always tried to teach her grandchildren.

They will not be able to sit at the kitchen table and watch her while she is baking, listening to beautiful stories and being able to learn all the valuable lessons in life that she tried to teach us. These are things that our generation does not teach our children any longer. A generation has gone and with it all its history, leaving us with a gap in our lives that cannot be filled again.

She was special and loving and kind and the glue that held everyone in our family together. If I could see her again I would ask for her forgiveness. I needed to be with her in the end, but seeing her pain and suffering was just more than I could take.

I would also have taken the time to appreciate her more and not ever, even for one second, have taken for granted what an absolute blessing she was in all of our lives. I would have thanked her for always seeing the good in me and always having something positive to say. She always made time for us, and she constantly built us up in a world that can so easily break you down.

She’s gone now. All I can hope is that I am living a life she can be proud of. There’s not one day that we don’t miss her, but you learn to live with the pain.

Ever so often there will be an unexpected memory that pops up of her. It may be the smell of a perfume that reminds me of her, or seeing my children and being transported to a time in my life when I was fortunate enough to still have a grandmother. I look into my son’s green eyes and I remember looking into the same shade of color in her eyes and I am so thankful that a piece of her has been passed on to him.

After more than a decade, I still miss her. I know that her daughters miss her too, and most importantly my grandfather misses her.

It’s all your fault as you manage to so easily take away countless lives and cause so much suffering in this world. You are a part of us and could be in our throat, in our skin, or in our organs. You claim so many victims each and every day, robbing children of a chance at life, ripping countless families and marriages apart. You leave us living in fear and with emptiness in our lives.

One day I pray that someone will figure out how to destroy you and that you will become a distant hurtful memory.

But until then, I really do hate you.

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