The Valley of the Shadow
Editor's Note: On Saturday, January 29, Gil Schamess died at his home at the age of 34, just six months after learning he had metastatic liver cancer. Before his death, Gil and Lisa wrote a column for Beliefnet on their struggle to live with his illness. With this column, Lisa begins the story of her new life with their 15-month-old daughter, Mona.
A few nights after Gil's diagnosis last summer, we lay in the dark discussing entropy. We pondered whether chaos, which slows down when it meets resistance, could be directed away from a vulnerable place. The cancer was still only a spattering of X-rayed shadows on Gil's liver and lungs. What cosmic force might disperse them, we wondered, when medicine offered so little hope? Talk had served us well in the past, bridged the bright space between our separate selves by day and the dark space between our bodies at night, mended our differences, tickled our ribs. Now we were desperately trying to talk chaos away from our bed.