[ahr-keyd]: Duncan de Moor is a Dutch singer-songwriter who records under the name of Duncan Laurence. He began his music career in 2014 and that same year was a semifinalist in the reality singing competition The Voice of Holland.

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 91: The Guide for Survival.

Christmas is around the corner. Talk about who is working over Christmas and who is working New Year. The traditional “are you working tomorrow or this weekend?”

They nod or they shake their head.

And you give the appropriate well wishings.

The holiday season ends with poetry about breaking circles and all of the good jobs we do.

I sit and stare at the screen. Thinking in my world this holiday season.

I found myself this evening exiled to my daughter’s room. Move a pillow out of the way and find a cat toy hidden under it. I throw it on the floor and little kitten Bolt goes running after it.

I pull the blanket over my legs. I like blankets. They make me feel warm and engulfed with comfort.

Last night my father called me. You see most of our conversations have to do with Cancer these days. My mother (or stepmother but she has been mine for 38 years) is dying of cancer.

Using experimental drugs and swallowing special pills that are matched to her genetics have saved her life. Or at least give her more time. Stage 4 Cancer all over her body she has squeezed out 2 and a half years.

Riding in car rides throughout Texas in a travel trailer. Wandering the hospital during a pandemic. Mask on her face like everyone else. Alone in long corridors when restrictions were in full effect.

She never cries. She never complains. She told me once on the phone that she thinks this experimental drug is going to cure her of Cancer.

I never did have the heart to believe her or tell her otherwise. Hope is something we live on I suppose.

We hope we are going to have a roof over our heads, food on the table and that our families are going to be safe.

We hope to live forever. Except in the case like myself that I have always had this pull I live to fight against with my illness. You sometimes feel like even more, you do not have control over yourself.

It is a battle I will always have to fight. Swallowing pills and being “in check” of my emotions and super hyper-aware of how I am feeling.

My daughter is the thought I have in the back of my mind. I do this for my daughter and my wife. That is why I have to be sane.

But for my mother, the thoughts of getting well. Telling everyone she is happy and is ok… I don’t believe it. I don’t think I would be able to hold a strong look on my face.

My mind wanders. I don’t hope for being cured, or things getting better. I know they are going to be worse.

And the one time she cried was when she heard how my birth mother terrorized me one night (which I have not spoken to in over 2 years) about that I was being held as a hostage by the Mexican Mafia.

She felt bad for me and cried.

She hasn’t cried over the fact that her time is on loan from the Earth she cries over an attention-getter manipulator and how she torments me.

I often wonder how I would feel if I laid there in my bed and knew my days were numbered.

Yet sometimes I like empathy. I am shockingly enough the logical one in the family (besides my father who has to be strong). I listen and ask how he is doing. Tell him that I am there to listen.

And I find myself doing the same I did with my grandmother and grandfather when they were dying. I avoid them. I hardly called, if ever.

I can remember one time where I called her. That was in the car while waiting for my daughter to finish football practice. Otherwise, it has been joint phone calls and the occasional skype with my daughter.

“I can’t see you on the screen,” I ask every single time.

I forgot that the Cancer in her eye makes it hard for her to see in the sunlight. My father reminds me, not her. She never complains.

One time I spoke to her on the phone and said nice things and I almost cried.

I have a lot of issues growing up you see. I did not have the best childhood.

But my father tells me things she has done for me, and I have some hint of a memory, but I do not know it is true or not.

So I am very confused.

I don’t know what is real and what is the other version of the story. (A never ending conversation with my therapist)

My father called me last night to tell me cancer has spread to the fluid in her brain. That is all over the place.

She fell on the way to the hospital walking over some rocks. My father sent me an SMS of her face.

Black and blue and yellow with bloodstains in her tear duct. She said she was fine. I told my father she needs to get an MRI of her head. The doctors agreed with her.

They found Cancer. She is going to do radiation of her brain. She will lose more of her short-term memory (she has already lost a lot of it) she will have headaches, need to use a walker or a wheelchair.

I picture my father carrying her up to go to the bathroom, and various other tasks we take for granted.

He says he will not leave her in a hospital. He promised her, she will not die alone. (can you imagine having this conversation with someone?)

If they find it in the spinal fluid they will recommend chemotherapy. That is when she will refuse treatment. She says she will not put herself through that.

I still cannot understand why she would do radiation. When she loses who she is. It makes me realize more than anything how scared she must be to die. To know that shortly you will be a memory.

I can only imagine the fear my wife feels when she wakes up every day hoping she never gets Cancer again. I think about it too. I am scared she will get it again, but I never tell her. She does not like to talk about Cancer.

I find myself now in my daughter’s bed, blanket on top of me, dog lying under the blanket. All of the animals are in here. They sense sadness. Anyway, I find myself in here crying my eyes out listening to this song.

My wife came in here earlier. Showing me this new board game she bought, asking me what I wanted for the pizza delivery, not noticing my nose is runny or that my eyes have that pink hue around them when you cry.

I just lie here and think about how the thoughts must run through her head. And the questions that are taboo to ask like;

“Do you cry when you are alone?”

The worst part about everything is that my father says he will be okay when she is gone, but I know it is a lie.

And I will be sitting here thousands of km away…not being able to do a thing about it. I am trapped here in Sweden.

What am I supposed to do Skype and tell him he will be ok? Or comfort him on the phone?

I want to talk about it to people because I just need to feel normal. The conversations here at home are not so involved (cancer issue with wife. See above.) Empathy. Not strange or helpless.

Ahhh…I can’t stop crying. I don’t know why. I just do. But it feels very lonely.

I picked up the phone and wrote an SMS to my mom: “I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you, and I love you mom.”

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