In January 2014, the day before my family left for a trip to the Grand Canyon my cousin gave us the news that her mom, my aunt L., had been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She’d had a lingering cough for a few months and finally went in for some tests. They found a mass in her lungs. It was cancerous. It was fast moving, but there was hope. Maybe we caught it early enough.
My dad had bought an RV for this big family trip. It was me, my parents, 2 twin sisters, their combined 3 small children, and one of their significant others. The sudden news was unsettling, but we left the next day. Our bags were already packed and everything was already ready. We’d never taken a trip like this and it was my dad’s dream.
Since my cousin couldn’t join us my sister took some of her fuzzy socks, and I took her scarf. She would be with us in spirit. And maybe through the journey somehow we could process the news that my aunt was about to start chemotherapy. I knew the probability was grim. It scared me. But on the outside I tried to stay positive. We were in for a long ride.