Life Goes On

It’s time for another Friday Fictioneers prompt. Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for hosting our group and choosing our prompts, and thanks to Roger Bulltot for this picture he has submitted, the ruins of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital.

I thought of life-and-death battles fought here. Smallpox has been subdued but now cancer is the dreaded foe. Tuesday we attended the funeral of a grandfather who fought a battle with leukemia (CML) and yesterday I made an appointment to have my blood counts checked again. My muse, awash in a wave of blue, delivered this 100-word tale. I hesitated to post it as my F.F. response, but hope you’ll tell me if it sounds too melodramatic or soppy.

NOTE: All photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only, and should not be used for any other purpose without express permission. 


Contemporary fiction

“Thanks for bringing me to this peaceful spot. Let’s stop awhile. You’re tired of pushing me.”

“Never!” Pearl braked the wheelchair and kissed Grandma’s cheek.

“See those doves nesting up there. The people have passed yet life goes on here. That comforts me. You grandchildren will find mates, build your nests and our family will continue on.

“Let’s not…”

“I’ve been so privileged to see you all grow up, now I get to enjoy these goodbye days. So many don’t.”

Pearl’s eyes teared up. “Don’t give up, Grandma. Another round of chemo…”

“Take me home now, dear. I want to rest.”

65 thoughts on “Life Goes On

    1. It seems sometimes the children and grands want their parent or grandparent to really put up a fight and “let’s beat this thing.” Easy to say when you’re young and full of fire. 🙂 Sometimes the old body just wants to go home. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This is beautifully written, Christine. Not even a bit soppy and no way does it classify as melodramatic – not one iota!

    When a person goes through chemo and such and it no longer works, they can choose to keep suffering for those left behind or leave gracefully as this lovely grandma is choosing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. (I owe you an e-mail, too. 🙂 ) Glad you liked the story. There’s definitely a time to stop with the chemo and let them spend the last months as comfortable as possible.

      We got word this morning that a young wife, married in early summer and battling lymphoma, was just given a week to live. Things were looking hopeful when they married, but now an inoperable tumor on the brain has changed the prognosis completely. Seems to be a bit of “blue” rain here lately — not to mention the blue smoke in the air again from BC forest fires. Cough, cough.


      1. I say it as I mean it..😊

        How terribly sad for that young woman, her husband and family. I swear…when your number is called, there is not a damn thing you can do…

        Those forest fires are awful! I have friends and family in BC and Alberta and all are feeling it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a touching story , Christine . Such a beautiful bond . I loved my grandmother dearly, just like Pearl.
    Sad that it’s the cancer that’s finishing her , such a painful end .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment. We loved our grandma (my mother-in-law) and thankfully she was only sick a short while before she died — two weeks short of her 99th BD. 🙂
      I hope, too, that my lymphatic cell counts are where they should be. I’ve told people having leukemia is like running a constant fever, and I’ve been so hot these last few weeks. And feeling so weary when I should be getting stronger. I’m hoping it’s just a passing “dip” in energy and I just need more exercise. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tears show where affection has lived. I’m glad our daughter could be close like this with her Grandma.
      I think, too, it’s time to let go. And you always have them, in a way. As long as we have our own memory, we have those precious memories of loved ones.
      Thanks for your comment, plaridel.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A week ago we listened to the funeral of a 41-year old father, son-in-law of our friends, who was out boating with his two sons and two nephews in Lake Erie. His sons tried swimming, the one was floundering, so the dad jumped in to help him, then went under while rescuing his son. Gone in a moment of time. leaving a wife and five children.
      Seems one of the big differences between an illness with its long good-bye and a sudden death is the shock the family goes through, or is spared. You’re right, though, that final good-bye is hard. thanks for commenting


    1. Thanks for your comment. I felt kind of weepy as I wrote this. We’ve had to say a lingering good-bye to loved ones, too. I know it’s easier on the one dying it they go suddenly, but I do think it’s easier on the family to get a chance to say goodbye.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not at all melodramatic or soppy. I’ve known a couple of people who went through chemo and decided that death was better. Of course, they were ‘far gone’ to begin with. You captured that thought perfectly. Kudos, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. With my niece, she was 12 when diagnosed with cancer all through her reproductive organs and they did immediate surgery, followed by about 3 1/2 years of chemo. The doctors finally told her mom, “The chemo’s doing her more harm than the cancer now.” So they stopped and she died about eight months later. Why drag it out if you’re losing the battle?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nobody knows until they’re in that position, but I think it’s likely that I’d refuse chemo if offered it. Maybe if I was younger I’d feel differently. Having said that, I think that in many cases people accept all the treatments offered, not for themselves, but because they see the anguish of their family and close friends at the prospect of losing them. That’s incredibly sad about your niece, Christine; that she fought for so long to survive. All such things are a huge dilemma, and it’s always so hard to know what is the right decision re treatment.
    I’ve recently experienced a friend dying very suddenly and unpleasantly. She was a wonderful person and everybody is devastated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, there are many aspects to life and death, acceptance and resistance. And I agree; people fight harder for their family’s sake than they might if it’s just themselves. In the end a person has to do what they can live with — or die in peace with.
      So sorry about your friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Our daughter had just such a relationship with her grandma — who lived to almost 99. 🙂
      Thanks for your comment. I see your name is Turner, same as my grandma! Our branch came to Ontario, Canada, in the 1850s, though.


    1. Thanks for your comment. What you say is very true. My husband’s mom deeply regretted not writing down any of the stories her grandmother told her, and I’ve regretted many times not asking my mom some questions about certain things that happened when I was growing up.

      Liked by 1 person

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