He was in his sixties when he was hospitalized with lung cancer, but adamant that he was too old for surgery. “I don’t want to die under the knife.” His words were tossed heavily between my mother and grandmother, and sunk down deep in my small psyche, filed under “how to boldly meet death as it approaches”. I was six and we were leaving to join my father in Canada. I imagine my grandmother alone two months later, hope that she found some consolation in observing the customary rituals, in her daily visits to bring flowers and candles to his grave. Her gravestone was ready next to his, carved and waiting only for an end-date. They expected life to be hard, death to come when God called them; peace and comfort were surprising, like unexpected gifts.
From 100 Words: The Beauty of Brevity. Word prompt: surgery.