April 12, 2005

Jason Benson

I got the word today that my cousin died over the weekend. He had been battling cancer for the last couple of years, and it looked like they had beaten it and he would be all right. But then it came back, and they went after it stronger than ever. He had just gotten home from the hospital and a particularly rough round of chemotherapy when he collapsed on the floor. It was an aneurysm, and he was gone before the paramedics arrived.

He was 23.

I could never really say I was close to my cousins. We played together a lot when we were kids, but my family moved away when I was 8, and they were both younger. After that we’d only see them twice a year when we went down to Orange County to visit family, then once a year, and then we stopped getting together. Our parents kept in touch, but we never did, and when I saw them four years ago at my grandfather’s funeral, it was like we were strangers. And now Jason, the youngest out of all four of us cousins, is gone. And now we do’t even have a chance of one day reconnecting.

It seems wrong for someone so young to be taken by cancer. It seemed wrong when I first heard he had it, and it seemed wrong that he would have to go through all the chemotherapy and everything at his age. And it seems extra wrong now, that his body just turned on him like that and devoured him from inside. Cancer isn’t supposed to be a young person’s disease. But it is. It doesn’t care who it strikes, or when. My wife had a distant cousin, a few times removed, by marriage, who was living the American Dream up in Puget Sound. He had a multi-million dollar business, a loving family, lots of friends, and a full rich life. But the cancer didn’t care about any of that. One day he was diagnosed, and within a month he was dead. You never know when it’s going to strike.

So rest in peace, Jason Benson. You were one of the unlucky ones, but at least now, as my aunt said, you’re “not being poked with needles anymore.” And for the rest of us, it’s just another reminder to enjoy every day that we have here.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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