I opened the curtains and, for the first time in weeks, I was not greeted by the rosy fingers of dawn. Instead the sky was dark and a gentle rain fell.
Stuck in traffic, with my windows tightly rolled up, I was overcome by a strange sensation that felt akin to being inside a cocoon. All I could hear was the swishing sound of the wipers and my MP4 player belting out Sixx AM.
Traffic was head-to-tail to the next intersection. Yet I had this uncanny feeling of being alone. Alone in a world of rain and puddles; suspended in the ether and looking down from a vantage point on the trail of cars inching their way forward, red brake lights leaving a bleary reflection on the shiny, wet tarmac. The traffic’s backed up on the 405… Yes, indeed. But that was LA and this was Malta and I was definitely not on a highway. So it went on, all the way to work. Yet despite running late, I was unusually calm. Perhaps I was still suspended in the ether.
Fast forward to the evening … I sat in my car (again) waiting for my son’s Boy Scout meeting to wind up. In front of my wind-shield a posse of mosquitoes danced and twirled in crazy delight, probably thinking that I would be their next victim. I closed my windows tightly shut and looked at the patches of sky above the tree-tops. A bat came into view; and then another; and another. They flew erratically in my line of vision for a few seconds and then headed on to their next destination. Meanwhile, down below, the mosquitoes continued their frenzied dance. And I felt a heavy weariness descend upon me.
It had been a long day but we finally got home. I logged on to Facebook and started to scroll down my wall, wondering why so many people had yellow gerberas for a profile picture. Then I read the sad news. Cancer had claimed another victim. A woman of 40, with two young sons. An acquaintance from my past. I was stunned. I inwardly screamed ‘no, no, no’. Oh my God, this is insane, How'd it get like this or has it always been this way? This was the fourth woman, that I had known at some point in my life, that had lost the battle this year. I felt a grief beyond words yet my lips mouthed a prayer. Piles of roses at my feet, friends and lovers gather around me … On and on, in my numb brain I repeated the words, like a secret mantra, like a call to arms. Enough, I wanted to say. Too many tears have been shed; too many lives have departed – gone too soon, silently, like the autumn rain.
This post is written in tribute to the brave survivors and in remembrance of all those who have lost the battle.