The photo is simple.
Could be any old couple taking a stroll on the beach
But it’s not any couple.
It’s her folks.
Holding hands, all smiles. A puddle of joy drifting in an ocean of worry, and sickness, and fear.
He’s slightly hunched, betraying unsteadiness, but remains sturdy, cap and sunglasses, steadfast. She is firm, graying hair windswept. She steadies him in back, buoying him to stay strong.
The small group of swimmers in the background dip below the waves, callous and indifferent to the significance of this moment
What it means
I sit here, fresh out the sauna, core temperature right where I like it, thousands of kilometers across the sea, peering out at the bamboo, the silhouetted mountains, all misty, in behind
But when I shift my gaze to the photo
The floodgates open
And even though the random swimmers in the background have no clue what this moment means
On their behalf, I do.
They both smile.
And, through tears, so do I.
Because sorry cancer (you asshole),
today you’re taking the L.