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#Tanka Tuesday: Dreams of Medical Immortality

#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 217 Theme – Immorality”

“The purpose of life is a life with a purpose. So, I’d rather die for a cause than live a life that is worthless. Immortal Technique”

Anonymous

Dreams of Medical Immortality

Tanka by Marsha Ingrao

Living forever
In fragility and pain
Reconstituted
from sacrificial donors
grave responsibility

My friend Alex had kidney disease. His sister-in-law gave him one of her kidneys. She disapproved of his lifestyle, maybe she worried about what he was doing to her kidney through habits or a lifestyle. Possibly she thought she owned him. Did she regret her decision?

Then he had throat cancer. His larynx was removed. No more talking for the man who loved to talk. He never recovered. He died in a house fire.

His brother wouldn’t honor Alex with a funeral, so his friends did. Alex’s brother and his wife spewed hatred all over the woman who planned his memorial service. I’m glad Alex did not see their reaction.

Immortality
As yet, unachievable
We all make choices
Not to ask favors of one
Even to prolong our lives?

I wonder what choices Alex would have made if he had been omniscient.

I wept inconsolably for Alex when he died. The cost of medical immortality is dear and not impervious to death.

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24 replies »

    • It was a gut wrenching story, Frank. It broke my heart. I ended up with the photo album that the woman put together. He was a mentor and meant a lot to me and all of us in the world of education.

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    • He was well loved by his friends, and as far as I know had a decent relationship with his brother. I met him on several occasions. He seemed nice enough until he wasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Each of us makes our own choices. There seems to be more to Alex than just the few words you were able to share.

    I’ve watched a few movies about those who thought they could or were somehow immortal. I’m not use what is after this life, but I’m not currently sure what I would do if gifted the choice to live longer than I am allowed. Each day is a gift and only the one person opening that gift has the right to use or discard what ever is in that box.

    Family though is just plain tricky. Not all family gets along. I am sorry for your loss. May the memories you choose to keep become bright stars in the memory of Alex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jules. He had no expectation of immortal life, certainly, but I ran into his sister-in-law at another function, and was shocked by her response venting to me about Alex and his lifestyle choices. She hardly knew me, and she knew I was good friends with Alex. That happened years before he died and I just never forgot it. Alex had issues, certainly, but who doesn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it hard too but once we give a gift to someone we should be gratefull that we are able to give and then not judge what they do with it.. I have a friend who gives his brother money every month knowing he will go out and do drugs but his brother needs to live and so he gives and let’s go..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that is really hard, Lisa. We help support my husband’s sister. At first I resented spending my retirement money, but we get a lot out of the relationship, too. (and no drugs, thankfully!) I’m not sure I could be as generous. WOW!

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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