Travel as Metaphor

The blog of novelist Sue Swift.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Well, I obviously hate blogging…

And I wonder why so many people, especially authors, seem to think that the world breathlessly awaits their latest mental emissions.

As for traveling…I am really not sure anyone wants to know the latest.

In brief: the hubster and I had a great trip to Maui from the 3d to the 13th of February. But when we celebrated our Valentine's Day early in our excessively orgiastic fashion, a call came in on my cell phone from one brother about the other brother…the one I haven't talked about much.

The one with Stage Four kidney cancer.

Apparently Keith had "died" and been resuscitated. Reportedly his first demand upon rejoining the land of the living was for his Propecia, in that he didn't want to die bald.

Despite his humor, which normally would betoken health, we changed our travel plans so we could fly directly from Maui to San Diego. Or at least that was the plan. Instead, the plane's pilot, as another passenger put it, "was a retard who couldn't land the f-ing plane" so instead we ended up in Ontario, California, a place which makes the back of the beyond look hip and exciting.

At 11:30 p.m., the last thing anyone wanted was a midnight tour of southern California, but that was what we got. Buses eventually arrived (from Los Angeles—please do not ask me why) and we were taken to San Diego Airport, arriving there a mere three hours behind schedule. A cab took us to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where we learned that Keith's heart had stopped and been resuscitated three additional times. Don't know if he again demanded Propecia.

Bruce left later the same day, while I stayed overnight.

Those of you who have been in the same situation—facing the loss of a loved one—know that certain matters must be discussed. Life and death. The settling of old disputes which may have seemed important in the past, but which now pale in significance compared to the great journey ahead. Declarations of love.


I have never before been a forgiving person, but now I am. It's a good thing, as Martha would say.

Another trip to San Diego has already taken place while two more are planned. I greedily grasp onto each and every opportunity to see my brother. At his age—a mere 56—who would have thought that time would be in such short supply?

At the same time, I know I must not allow the threads and tendrils of my life either unravel or knot. So I bounce back and forth, up and down the length of California, enriching Southwest Airlines. A sense of unreality attends my travels even though I and my family are facing the most brutal reality of all.

If any of you out there have a loved one suffering, feel free to post a comment.


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