Monday, June 02, 2008

Life is too short

Someone else I know has died of cancer.

She died last night of pancreatic cancer, the same kind that took author Ronda Thompson. She was in horrid pain, was diagnosed only a few months ago, and she was only a few years older than me. She suffered terribly.

Cancer sucks, oh man, it sucks so much.

Life is too damn short. You just have to make the most of it, good or bad, because you never know what tomorrow brings. I have a sometimes morbid sense of humor. It comes from the work I do as a writer for a charity. I've seen some pretty disturbing stuff.... dying babies, children crying from malnutrition... the kids always get me the most because they are so young and never had a chance... There is a photo of a little girl I met who died of AIDs in Haiti on my desk and a little boy who died of starvation last year.

Like cops and firefighters, journalists and nurses and doctors, I developed a warped sense of humor as a defense mechanism. It helps when dealing with life's tragedies.

So I started thinking about what I would write in my obit. Morbid, yeah. Funny, I hope so. Like I said, humor is a defense mechanism for me.

Bonnie Vanak, age 101 on her Myspace page, died of an overdose of methane inhalation after a Shih Tzu “cluster fart” caused by too many bacon bits treats.

Bonnie was an author of both historical and paranormal romance novels for Dorchester and Harlequin. Though her work went largely unnoticed by the romance crowd, she enjoyed penning stories about sweaty Egyptian warriors and grunting werewolf warriors. “I like them hot and I like them hairy,” she was known to say.

Bonnie was also a writer for a large international charity. She raised millions of dollars to help the world’s poor and traveled extensively to developing countries, ate exotic food, and learned to map out the various WHO latrines in strategic locations in remote mountain villages.

Among her hobbies, she liked steam engine trains, both life-size and G-scale and was very much in admiration of her husband’s Climax, which she said “was amazing to see in real life, all that pumping and thrusting. I love machines.”

Bonnie is survived by her warped sense of humor, which she hopes will outlast the sale of her used mass market paperbacks on E-bay.


Gillian Layne said...

My dh treats cancer patients; he's a radiation therapist. I'd say your sense of humor is spot on with most other folks who deal with the life and death issues you do. It's that or you just don't stay with the job very long.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Bless your DH, Gillian, that is one tough job.