The night before Thanksgiving, last Wednesday, I visited a very close friend who is dying from cancer. On Thanksgiving, I saw the article "Thanksgiving Day and the Powerful Play" in TruthOut. An excerpt is given below.
Hold tight to who you have in this world, even if you're down deep in a ditch. I hope someone sets a place at table for you on Thanksgiving, but if not, remember that you're still here, and if you're here, it means matters can change for the better,because you're here. Hold tight to who you have, and tell those who are your heart you love them. Do not let the grass grow under the last conversation you had with one who is a part of who you are. I am here to tell you, from the well of my soul, that it is a savage, brutal shock to lose that chance forever.
We live in a world of shrinking margins, of narrowing visions, a world ruled and ruined by fools. This is the fact of our time, and no one is going to fix it today. Tomorrow, perhaps, but in the meantime, hold close what you hold most dear, and give thanks for the chance of that holding. If you truly appreciate what you have, no matter how mean or meager, you are doing it right. On this day of all days, remember where you came from, contemplate where you are, imagine where you can be, stand stock still a moment, and be thankful that you are here.
My visit to Mark Anderson was a bit difficult to arrange given the pace of my life at present and upcoming winter. I've handled house repairs including frozen water pipes as Michigan's winter approaches quickly. I also am a bus rider and the city of Livonia has cut access to mass transit through its predominantly white occupied streets. Fortunately there is a significant size community of activists and Dave brought me over to see Mark. Two of Mark's daughters stayed at the house to provide immediate care and call for hospice when needed. Additional family and community members made visits each day.
Mark learned October 17 that he was dying from terminal cancer of the bile duct and liver. A Doctors stated then he had a few days to live. He was seemingly incoherent when I stepped in to see him. Then I grasped his hand and I gently squeezed and received in return slight movement of his fingers and his facial expression changed a bit.
I told Mark of the uprising in Detroit last night following the #FergusonDecision. That our fellow activists got out there and #ShutItDown blocking two highways I-75, I-94, along with Gratiot and other streets. It was a #PeacefulProtest there was no violence, just civil disobedience. Seven were arrested during the shutdown of I-94. Last night I was told a third highway, US-10, was attempted in the middle, but didn't deliver a full shutdown before the protest group scuttled the activity.I pulled the stories, tweets, photos, videos together to share comprehensively.
I realized on that visit that it would be my last, and while I didn't hear him speak, I did find closure and knew he had as well. Mark's life passed to spirit a few days later. Monday night around 8pm he died while the activist community he is held dearly by was holding a potluck event to discuss what is happening around Detroit. We have a benefit event planned for Friday.