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Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to Flock of Broads. Here you will find the musings of five smart gals affectionately called "The Flock", all currently based in Minneapolis, MN. From pie crusts to parties, beard oil to Beyoncé, fashion to fat pants, we cover life as we know it and even a few things in between. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

It's Not Fair

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It's Not Fair

Talia Wischmann

We learn about fairness when we’re young. We fight for it, tattle on the kids who aren’t giving it to us, complain about teachers who pick favorites. Eventually we see that it doesn’t exist; there is no fairness between black people and white people, men and women, pretty and ugly. Someone chose his favorites long ago and now we live with it.

“It’s not fair,” I told Tony after babysitting their son one night last month, “I wish they didn’t love each other so much. What’s she going to do when he’s gone?”

Young people are supposed to die from drug overdoses and car accidents, not from three-year battles with brain cancer.

I’ve done research about how unfair the world is. I minored in Women’s Studies and talk a lot about feminism. But this is a type of fairness that can't be fought for – it’s cancer and it doesn’t give a fuck how much we beg and plead and bring bills to congress.

If someone asked me, “Who are the best people you know?” I would say them. The way they love each other and their son is something to be admired. Even as they battle for life, they are genuinely interested in how your day was.

This morning I sobbed. Tears streamed down my face, crashed into drops from the showerhead and swirled down the drain. I still want to fight. I’ll buy more t-shirts. I’ll babysit Ralph and that’ll fix it. That cancer will finally get the fucking message from one of the floral bouquets we send. But it won’t. It’s there; it’s unforgiving and unfair.

From Nora’s blog:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Since our father died, our mother has taken to sending us poetry and it is ripping me open and making me feel all the things that seem too hard to feel.

Perhaps old age should burn and rave at close of day, but we do not all die old. So what of the young?

Aaron’s treatment has stopped working.

The tumor grows, swells his brain, sends his body into cataclysmic seizures, paralyzes his left arm and leg and now he has a choice to make: to continue the treatments that aren’t working, or to live his life as comfortably as possible.

To be clear, he is dying. They are talking about hospice.

And that is what he has chosen.

After we leave the hospital, we are sitting across from one another in a small diner in downtown Minneapolis, amidst the rubble of the future we’d imagined.

So what do you want to do now? he asks

Be here, I said. With you.

He orders pancakes.

It hasn’t even been a month since my father went gentle into that good night, not more than a few hours home from the ICU. He did not rage. He had done enough of that in life, when we got home too late or played our music too loud or brought home report cards or boyfriends that weren’t to his liking.

I do rage. In small fits and starts, usually behind the wheel or when I stub my toes on that stupid fucking high chair goddammit shit fuck damn or I can’t find my keys or my phone or my wallet or that one book, you know the one, or when someone says something really, really dumb on the internet and I know it is my solemn duty to correct them (WHY?!).

It is not a very rageful rage, and I know why. I learned from Aaron.

I don’t want it to be you, I whimpered into my coffee before the waitress delivered a pancake the size of his (giant) head.

It’s me because I can handle it. I can do this.

And then it was time to eat.

It does no good to rage, to fight. It will only exhaust us, deplete us, prevent us from finding solace in fresh flannel sheets and heavy wool blankets and our son’s funny little accent, unique just to him, when he wakes in the morning and says to us, hullo guys.

We will not rage against the dying of the light. We will try to enjoy its glow.