Deserving Some Happiness

The sun rose hot in Northwest Louisiana this August morning,
certain to fulfill its promise of another 100-degree day.
The father, unshaven, disheveled, dazed from constant mourning,
carrying his shotgun - His mind decided? Who can say? -
walked out into his backyard, desiring to sit under his
(and her) favorite shade tree. His mind was in turmoil,
not even remembering when he’d eaten or slept. Truth is,
all his desires and dreams the death of his daughter did soil.

“How could you, God? … How could you? … How could you
possibly have allowed cancer to take my darling little daughter?
Just how heartless are you? You give me these twin daughters,
give me six perfect years to love and enjoy my perfect daughters,
then you allow cancer…CANCER…to invade my favorite one.
We fought so hard … she fought …we sure fought…
but for all the money …all our efforts …no cure could be bought!”

His body shook, causing the tears wetting his face to run and fall
upon his heaving chest, randomly spotting his red T-shirt with small,
slowly expanding darkened circles. He eyed the inviting shotgun,
lying upon the ground beside him, but his soliloquy had only begun…

“For three long years she endured hospitals …doctors …evil smells …
needles …toxic drugs that made her lose all her beautiful blonde hair -
every strand of flaxen hair lost adding to my growing despair.
There was no happy ending for her! You took her in the end!
God, how could you? How could you? I could not even begin
to count the times she and I sat right here and prayed …and prayed.

Now every minute of every hour of every day for the rest of my life
her healthy twin will mock me, reminding me I couldn’t prevent her loss.
I cannot live in such misery. I cannot stand a future filled with such strife.
I deserve to once again know some happiness….some time …somewhere.
I am living in Hell here on earth. I cannot endure this unrelenting grief.
I must have some relief…blessed relief… relief…”

Harry Edward Gilleland      3.22.02