lest you think my mind is all on myself tonight, it's not. tonight i heard the number i've been dreading for months - keith olbermann said tonight that it was the 2000th day since the declaration of mission accomplished.
i have a cousin over there.
there are much worse things in the world, even in my tiny one, than a tumor in my parotid gland.
sometimes i wish i were the kind of person who prays. sometimes, when things are really bad, i have a conversation with my late cousin stephen. (who died from a lack of health care btw. i remember all too well and it makes me scared in a way i can't adequately explain.). this conversation occurs only in my mind, but i remember having a very frank talk with him a few weeks before he suddenly died, and it brought me a very profound peace. i suppose it makes some sense that an atheist like me would have to have a vent (if you will) like that. i haven't yet had that conversation with him, so things can't be as bad as i was afraid.
stephen's been gone for 14 years now. the ache i feel at his absence is much deeper than what i feel for my own mother. that may sound pretty fucked up, but i'd known for 9 years that it was going to happen with her. he was alive, and a day later he wasn't. i think it's his being snatched away from us like that left a mark on me that will never go away.
i got to (just) long enough to say that life is long. trust me, even when i'm whining about how fucked up things are, i am incredibly grateful i've gotten to be here long enough to earn saying that.