The End Game


I remember the day I took this shot: I packed my camera bag, entered the woods, scanned, searched, looking for that one interesting shot. I didn’t see anything apparent jumping out at me, and as I stood there just appreciating being in the woods I observed this lone piece of bark separating from a branch, the setting sun illuminating it from behind. Simple, yet beautiful.

I had a really weird day yesterday. Death in the family. We knew it was coming. The man suffered greatly over the years from cancer. The sad part was that if he’d only undergone a routine colonoscopy sometime in his fifties, he just may still be with us today.

I got the call and was at the house within twenty minutes of his death. I consoled my family members and then went upstairs to see my deceased relative. He was lying there, half of his former self, eyes still open, frozen in time, appearing as if he were simply staring out of the window.

The eyes still open part kind of freaked me out. I’ve seen plenty of dead people in my life, but only a few with their eyes still open.

He was gone, entering his new stage, separating from his former life, entering eternal life? As I thought hard about all of that and looked at him, I thought about this particular picture for some reason, the hard outer shell of a tree, the bark, protecting, securing, and that was everything he was, and even in death the thoughts and reflections of who he used to be as a father, husband, brother, shown through…

Routine tests are sometimes lifesavers folks. I’m really not trying to scare you or anything, but hell, the hardest part of a colonoscopy is the cleanout and that’s not even a big deal.

If you are closing in on your fifties or your family has a history of colon cancer, talk to your primary care physician. See if they want you to schedule an exam. Get your butt checked. It’s easy as heck. But please, don’t let embarrassment hold you back, the medical staff has seen thousands of asses and as much as you may admire your own, yours is just another butt to them.


Note: Humor is a coping tool I’ve always used to deal with adversity. If I seem insensitive towards the death of a family member, it’s not that way. It’s simply how I deal with things.

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