Saturday, April 11, 2015


After my appointment with my oncologist yesterday (going well, thank God), I called fora taxi. The driver graciously came and took my bags and gave me his arm. We stepped over to this taxi. I asked to sit up front because I tend to suffer from motion sickness in the back seat.

Then I learned something totally surprising and tragic. The driver,"Mohammad", had just come from another hospital where he was told he has pancreatic metastatic cancer. The doctor told him chemo would kill him faster than the disease. 

At 50 years of age, he had just been hit with an uncompromising death sentence. To make things worse, he learned that he had missed an appointment for an ultra sound a year ago that might have saved his life. The doctor was business-like. He gave him no hope.

Mohammad's wife doesn't know yet. I was the first person he encountered after receiving this terrible news - and I knew.

I told Mohammad I am a Jew and a Christian - of little true "faith" but with a relentless need for hope - anyway. 

Mohammad said we are all the same and we agreed there can only be one God.

"There is so much we don't know" - about the universe and creation and God - my wise oncologist had just said earlier. 

There is so much more we do not know, than we do know - or can know.

I asked Mohammad if
wanted to pray with me. I asked for his hand. He gave me his hand and we held tight. I asked him to pray in his own language. 

I have been thinking about him since then. 

We are all so alike, so vulnerable - so human.

We need more miracles. Great miracles.

And we need each other.

Phyllis Carter

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