Car Valet at the Cancer Institute by Julie B. - 3rd Place, Adult Category

Your ears dark brown, moles the size of ink drops splattered around.
I follow the path down to your jawline- so sharp since you lost all of that weight.

I hold onto this image.
I hold onto this moment.
It isn't much.
It is short
Simple

It is just a routine appointment-a paracentesis- but I hold onto it because you are here
Because I can look over to you and smile
Because I can lean my hand on the blade of your shoulder
Because I can still call you Dad
Because you can see me
Because I know that one day our routine appointments
Our drives together
Our looks we give each other when we know Mom is being dramatic
Our calls
Our hugs

Will be no more

Your head moves impatiently side to side waiting for our car.
My hands grip the handles of the wheelchair tightly.
I wonder how many other hands held these handles?
I wonder how many other people sat where you sat just waiting?

Waiting

Waiting for a scan
Waiting for an IV
Waiting for results
Waiting for an elevator
Waiting for a room
Waiting for their names to be called to the the back
Waiting for the side effects to subside
Waiting for medicine deliveries
Waiting for TPN
Waiting to schedule
Waiting for it to get better

All that waiting…

Until we are the ones left waiting…

Waiting… Waiting to see you again.

The car pulls up. And you nod for us to go.
You had enough waiting for today.

-- Julie B.