For those of you who know me, you may have read this on my A.W. Gryphon’s Bits & Pieces flash fiction blog last year. I wrote this as a response to my dear friend and stepmother being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. It struck me while I was driving home from work only hours after the doctor had delivered the news. Out of nowhere a tornado of feelings hit. I pulled over to catch my breath and “Holly’s Walks on the Beach” poured out of me and onto a pack of post-it notes I had in my purse… I wrote with fury, just needing to get it out… having no idea that three weeks later I would be diagnosed with stage IIIa breast cancer.
Holly was fierce. She was smart, wise. Her impenetrable strength radiated a force of life only found in legends. She pulled at her skin and ripped at her hair in a frenzy, screaming from the depths of her soul; weeping from the very fibers that held her together. The insanity had struck. The madness for life, for living. For one more walk on the beach without a care in the world. Just one. Holly wanted a simple moment of untainted bliss, of calm, of peace. But that wouldn’t happen. No matter how the journey before her unfolded, things would never be the same for Holly. Her walks on the beach were forever changed. Because that’s how it works. That’s what cancer does.