The Thinking Viking has a brother (and a step brother, but that is for later).  He had flown in from Memphis, TN to Stapleton Intl. Airport in Denver, CO, and I was driving us both back to Boulder to meet mom (I was living with her again since I started school). It had been years since we had all been together.  It’s been a while since this went down, heck, Stapleton Airport doesn’t even exist anymore.  I think it is a parking lot.  DIA is much better. Anyhow…..  We’re cruising through backroads of Colorado in an 89 Honda Civic, catching up.

Then, a rail crossing. A train is already there. And it’s doing the slow for five minutes – stop- backup- business that freight trains do. Fuck.  We chat some more, I bitch that the car has no radio (not broken – original owner didn’t want one).  The train finally moves forward steadily… good 15 or 20 minutes killed.

I drive home in a hurry.  We don’t speak.

We get to the apartment.  The nurse meets us at the door.

“Thank God you made it. She’s waiting for you both.”

We rush to mom’s room, each of us taking one of her hands.

“Mom, I’m here…” I manage to blurt out…

“Matt?  Is Jeff here? ”

“I’m here, too Mom.” my brother replies.

“Thank you..”

Those were last two words she spoke. She squeezed our hands, and died.

Cancer sucks.

She died bankrupt, uninsured, due to her pre-existing condition of “cancer”.

Think about it.



  1. Marsie says:

    I’m sorry for your loss and the frustrating (?) circumstances and pain your mom had to endure. You were so fortunate to be with her. What a special mom to wait for her children to be with her before passing. This is EXACTLY what I think about, often, and here is another example of what our society forces on loved ones. Yes, Mr. Romney, too many people who don’t have insurance pass away because of it and yes, Mr. Romney, too many people would not have sufficient food to live if not on food stamps. I know this because I am one who has experienced both.

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