Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30: He will be waiting, Prognosis, Patricia Lockwood, "The Fake Tears of Shirley Temple"

Then they were silent.  They walked up a stretch of the block, across the way from the projects, a nerve-racking experience, even with a guard in a booth, because people were always getting held up, sometimes stabbed on that street.  They had reached Broadway when Robert added:  "You know, sometimes I think about what it would be like to be dead.  All I know is that He will be waiting.  It scared me for a long time, but you know what, Pop?  It doesn't anymore."

Robert Ives seems to have a sense, even at a very young age, that he isn't going to live very long.  He's deeply spiritual.  In fact, Robert says and does things in his that are almost saint-like.  Don't get me wrong.  He's still a teenage boy, with teenage desires.  Given the opportunity, he'll look at a naked girl.  But, on top of that human layer is a divine understanding that amazes his father, Ives.  For a long time after Robert's death, however, Ives finds no comfort in the memory of Robert's calm belief that Jesus would be waiting for him when he died.

This afternoon, I received the following text from one of my sisters:

Bad news.  Doctors are saying it's most definitely cancer.  The atrophy in her brain will never come back.  Chemo will weaken her and could kill her sooner.  Prognosis is not good for Sally at all!

My sister, Sally, is still in the hospital.  Tomorrow, she's going to have an ultrasound of her breasts and an MRI of her lungs.  They're trying to find the source of the cancer.  The doctors said that she will probably not walk again, and they don't seem very confident about any form of treatment.

I am a little numb right now.  I've cried some, and I've also been trying to remember how devoted my sister has always been to her faith.  However, like Ives, that knowledge is not giving much comfort tonight.  I don't know what's going to happen from here.  Certainly, she will eventually be going back to the nursing home.  When I went to visit her tonight, one of my sister's best friends was there, and she talked to me about hospice care.

Saint Marty isn't sure he's ready to lose another sibling.

The Fake Tears of Shirley Temple

by:  Patricia Lockwood

How many sets of her parents are dead.  How
many times over is she an orphan.  A plane,
a crosswalk, a Boer war.  A childbirth, of course,
her childbirth.  When she, Shirley Temple, came
out of her mother, plump even at her corners
like a bag of goldfish, and one pinhole just one
pinhole necessary.  Shirley Temple, cry for us,
and Shirley Temple cried.  The first word of no
baby is "Hello," how strange.  The baby believes,
"I was here before you, learning to wave just
     like the Atlantic."  Alone in the world
just like the Atlantic, and left on a doorstep
just like the Atlantic, wrapped in the grayest,
roughest blanket.  Shirley Temple gurgled
and her first words were, "Your father is lost
at sea."  "Your mother was thrown by a foam-
colored horse."  "Your father's round face is
a round set of ripples."  "Every gull has a chunk
                        of your mom in its beak."
Shirley Temple what makes you cry.  What do
you think of to make you cry.  Mommies stand
in a circle and whisper to her.  "Shirley Temple
there will be war.  Shirley Temple you'll get no
lunch."  Dry, and dry, and a perfect desert.  Then:
     "Shirley Temple your goldfish are dead,
they are swimming toward the ocean even now,"
                         and her tears they fall in black
and white, and her tears they star in the movie.
She cries so wet her hair uncurls, and then the rag
is in the ringlet and the curl is in the wave, she thinks
of dimples tearing out of her cheeks and just running,
out of cheeks knees and elbows and running hard
back to the little creamy waves where they belong,
and the ocean.  Her first
     glimpse of the ocean was a fake tear for dad.
A completely filled eye for her unseen dead father,
who when he isn't dead he is gone across the water.

My sister has always loved Shirley Temple movies

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