A year to live.
My Papaw had cancer.
He was going to die, and the doctors gave us the timeline. It broke me to hear that. He was such a strong, stubborn old man who had been so full of life.
So when Papaw said he was going to beat it, I rejoiced.
He pushed everyone away, threw himself into his faith. God would save him, right?
As his body weakened, I did everything I could to save him. I sat by his bedside and talked with him. Pleaded with him.
I presented solution after solution, so consumed with saving him. But he was certain his way was best.
No matter how angry I got, it didn’t change his decision.
I remember Papaw’s last day clearly. My hand was wrapped around his, and I told him I’d do whatever it took to save him.
It was the last thing I heard him say before he gave into the pain and suffering and left this mortal plane.
Israel, I know how you’re feeling.
Cael Gable, your best buddy who you love dearly, is terminal. He got a year to live, and that year’s just weeks from being up.
He’s going to die.
I see the same burning embers in your eyes that were in mine, a fire raging so hot it could burn steel.
Yet a fire that can’t do a damn thing.
Cael’s a stubborn bastard too, and he still, even today, thinks he’s going to beat his diagnosis.
Because of faith, right?
He pushed you away, pushed anyone who’d ever known him away. He turned to religion, to Vayikra and their promise of eternal glory under a resurrected Yahweh.
Because Yahweh will save him, right?
But we both know the truth of it. Gable’s time is running out, and you’re trying to be by his side.
I hear the inferno in your words, the same one that was in mine.
Please, listen to me.
But he won’t.
No matter which way your own ocean flows, Gable’s won’t follow. He’s made his decision and now he’s going to see it through to the end.
His last day is coming, Israel, and I know you’ll be there beside him, maybe even holding his hand as death takes him.
What will his final word be?
Will he tell you to live, as my Papaw told me? I heeded his advice, I put my life above all others.
That’s the difference between you and me, Grimwolf. Your dilemma has softened your heart, turned your raging ocean into a placid lake.
Gable’s tenuous life has turned you desperate, grasping for anything that’ll hold him to you. You can’t do as I did, and accept his decision.
You refuse to let Gable’s life mean something. You’re drowned in grief, refusing to breach the tide to see the truth of it.
The truth is that all those who’ve passed have the same final message to those left behind.
I’ve chosen to follow that message, all others be damned.
Cael has weeks to live, Israel.
But you died a year ago.