Dear C -
I hate you.
I can honestly say that. I don't think I can voice the same strong opinion about anyone/anything else in my life, but you I can easily and wholeheartedly say I hate you without guilt or remorse. I was raised to not hate anyone. . .to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind. But no, can't do that for you. You, I hate with a passion.
You have always been in the background throughout my life. My grandfather knew you and you made my mom cry when he passed away. My best friend met you and had to deal with you during some of the best years of her life and you have changed her in ways that can never be remedied.
Along the way you have taken my father-in-law's voice and his ability to swallow food. You have made his life so difficult and everyday he has to think of you and be reminded that you could come back at any point. Changing forever a man who has devoted so much of his life dedicated to building a garden that could feed so many hungry residents of his state - growing food that he himself cannot even enjoy.
Then the unthinkable. You came into my father's life and made his worst fears come true. My dad who was a giver of all things. . .a Sunday School teacher, a volunteer at the prison - making a difference in so many people's lives, a community leader, a volunteer after Hurricane Katrina, helping rebuild houses. Despite all that you snuck in and took him away from us, from all those people that he had helped and all those people he had yet to influence. Gone.
The hatred for you at that point was almost beyond bearable.
A year later you found your way to another family member. You snuck in while no one was watching. While we were mourning the sudden loss of my step father-in-law (from undoubtably an evil friend of yours), you laid claim to his wife, my dear mother-in-law. A nurse, a caregiver, a woman loved so incredibly deeply by everyone who has ever known her. Hiding deep, waiting for the moment that your presence in our lives would once more be confirmed. Our grief had to be put on hold while we addressed you again. Now everyday is a fight against you. A war for life. Good news will be celebrated (The numbers are down!! Yay! Things are looking up!!) to be deflated only days later with your new path of destruction.
And another family member is under attack. A sweet, young cousin who just got married last year. Just starting out on her life's journey. Now in the battle to be able to see her twin baby nephews grow another day. The roller coaster isn't forgiving. The doctors say they are amazed at how great of a fighter she is and how well she is doing, only a few days later to find herself in the hospital at your mercy again.
Can we just get a minute of peace from you?
No. Then you hop in to visit my brother. He deals with you swiftly and effectively, but not before you have created havoc in his family life in ways that can never be repaired. Yes, I will blame you for this too.
Now how can we live without being in constant fear that you will rear your ugly head somewhere else? Every ache, pain and weird sensation by any family member and automatically our thoughts fly to you. We wonder why we can't just walk into a body scanner and be checked to be free of fear from your hidden attack. The airports scan for bombs and sharp objects on terrorists better than we can check our own bodies for the ultimate death threat. You kill 600,000 Americans every year whereas terrorists killed about 15 in 2011. Why aren't we fighting for better diagnostics and treatment for the war against YOU? (I am fully in favor of every step taken to fight terrorism, but wish we would be as aggressive in keeping you at bay as well!)
Our family's fight with you is not over. But be assured C. You will NOT win. Our family will prevail over you. We will continue to do good works and be good people and live each day of our lives in pure happiness and joy. We will save every negative feeling and energy and give it all to you to eradicate you from our lives, leaving only love, happiness and blessings from here on out. You will not rule over us and keep us from living each day to its fullest, capturing every moment of joy and bottling it up to hold onto during those moments when you try to take over. We will not be your victims.
You try to take life. But we are taking it back.