Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dancing With Diavlo

This post was written in response to a writing prompt from Write On Edge. We were asked to write about hope remembering the algorithm taught to us by Marion Roach-Smith in her book The Memoir Project. To put it succinctly, here is the prompt:

This is a piece about (x), illustrated through (y).
So, for this week, we want the (x) to be hope.
This is a piece about hope, illustrated through (y).
What is the (y)? Only you know. You have that truth—those stories in you. Now share it with us.

Below is my story of hope illustrated through my yesterday. In my quest for constructive criticism for this particular post, I would like to ask if you feel that the hope is evident in this piece, or if you can only see it because the prompt was added.
Last night's dinner was delicious. I made, for the first time, Shrimp Fra Diavlo. I burned my arm with splattering oil when I put the shrimp in the pan. For the entire night my arm was on fire. My wrist glowed red and by the time I went to bed my flesh had browned as if it were charring as each minute passed. I had enjoyed the hot spices of my meal but felt as though fate mocked me in my devilish endeavor.

It was one of those days, you know the kind, where the world wants to shake you.

You see, before the the shrimp debacle I was watching the evening news. A story came on about a new treatment for cancer. I found it fascinating. My husband came into the room, sat beside me and was equally enthralled by the story.

As I sat and listened I realized something, There will be a cure. My mind reeled with this epiphany. I questioned myself, Will it be for all cancers, Nicole? Or just this brain cancer? All I could muster was those five words, There will be a cure.

I don't know if my husband saw my fascination, or was just awash with his own, but he started to tell me of another similar treatment he had heard about. As he spoke I could hear nothing but my five words swirling in my mind. Before I could stop myself I was in tears.

It was guilt.

I realized that at the beginning of the story some part of me wanted to find anything wrong with it. My mind wouldn't allow a cure. A cure wouldn't be fair. If my mother couldn't have one then how could I live knowing others could?

Then I remembered her suffering, her pain and her end. No one deserved that.

My husband didn't need to ask what made me cry, he knew it was thoughts of my mother, but I felt I needed to clarify, "They're going to cure this. And when they do that's going to be a hard day for me." It scared me to think that I must have felt this way for almost six years and I didn't consciously know it, but saying it out loud was such a great release.

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