I originally wrote it as part of a group writing challenge.
The topic: Perception.
...The process of using the sensors to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation, according to Encarta Dictionary.
For me, inspiration comes from many places – sometimes from humour, sometimes from shock, the wow impact... and sometimes from sorrow.
This time, my inspiration for Perception came from my uncle.
We were at a family member’s home, celebrating what we didn’t know at the time, would be his last Christmas.
It was a beautiful day, sun shining in a blue sky, a breeze with barely enough weight to lift wisps of my hair to brush against my face.
I was standing off to one side, watching the kids laughing and teasing, trying to coax the youngest into the pool. The adults were sharing stories and drinking wine, eating food made from love and the season’s joy, when my eyes stopped on my uncle sitting uncomfortably on a soft-cushioned chair.
I stilled as I noticed my Aunt sidling over to him time and again, asking him one and only question: “Do you need your pain medicine?”
“No,” he replied, every single time. Even though he clearly did.
You see, there was no more comfort in sitting unmedicated for him anymore.
I started to look at our surroundings differently. I began to wonder what it would feel like to give over ownership, to have to let go of my strength, my control, his masculinity, and allow the people I love, people it was my job to take care of, do for me the things – private things, personal things – that I only ever wanted to do for myself.
What would it feel like to know that I was looking at my family together for the very last time?
Because he knew, deep down he knew, that this would be his very last time.
So he sat and smiled and laughed through his pain, so we could have our very last time too.
My Uncle Ron sadly passed away from Prostate cancer in 2014, nearly a year after our very last family Christmas together.