After the beauty of an intimate encounter, she rested her head on my chest and draped her arm across my body. "Are you scared?" she asked.
"Not yet," I replied.
But I am.
Not of the possibility cancer has returned or if I'll have to go through all that pain and suffering again, which was, of course, the question she was asking, so no, I didn't keep the truth from her.
But I'm scared of other things.
Things like you and the boys not having health insurance if I die.
That shit keeps me awake on some nights.
I don't understand a world where people think, no, make that where people actually believe that such a situation is the way it is supposed to be; that healthcare is a privilege for the few and not a human right for all.
I don't understand people who are fine with their tax dollars going to the military, or some undisclosed, secret governmental organization, for the purpose of killing other human beings, but are so against those tax dollars going toward the healthcare of others.
As if dealing with health issues is a choice.
"Get a job that has health insurance," some say.
"Healthcare should not be a for-profit business," I respond.
But it falls on deaf ears.
It falls on those with no empathy for others.
It falls on those with only selfish motivations.
Mostly, it falls on those of privilege.
Almost all of my fear is health related: My cancer, your cancer, his seizures and other ailments.
It's a large part of our life together but I am thankful it's you that I go through this with.
I'm also scared for our children's future. Not because of the orange asshat that is currently in office, he is just a temporary blip, but of the way a large part of the population sees our child and those like him. What does his future hold? It keeps me up some nights, as well.
For our other child, my fear stems from what the future will be like for him. What will be left for him to do to earn a living, to be productive, and to find happiness?
Most parents have this fear for their children, but there's never been 7.5 billion people on the planet before. And this number will continue to grow.
I teach mathematics. I know this growth rate is not sustainable. I know the future will have problems that we humans refuse to acknowledge today.
More of that selfish motivation.
I know most jobs will be automated. Much sooner than many of you realize. Thus, there will be more people looking for work than there are today, but there will be far fewer jobs available.
Call me paranoid.
Call me foolish or stupid or insane or any other word you want.
It will not phase me.
If you've chosen blindness, that is your right.
But it leads to more of that selfish motivation.
More of that us versus them mindset.
We need more of that "we're all in this together so let's help each other" mindset.
We're all going to die.
You're not stopping that from happening.
So instead of being selfish, we need to help one another.
We need to listen to one another.
We need to have empathy for one another.
We need to realize we are all pieces of meat, made of stardust, riding this very small blue orb around a much larger orb in an average spiral galaxy through the vastness of space.
That's not hopelessness.
And that's why each of us are no better than anyone else on this planet regardless of money, occupation, or social status.
We really are all equal in the eyes of the universe.
It's unfortunate human nature doesn't let us see it that way.
But we are.
The truth doesn't need your approval.
It's doubtful you'll live approximately 2.5 billion seconds without any health issues. (That's around 75 years.)
And so our health matters.
Healthcare is a right.
Not "access" to healthcare.
We deserve actual healthcare, paid for with our tax dollars, as well as the knowledge that we will not lose everything we own when we get sick.
Everyone knows it.
It's not a secret.
Life is better than death.