by Tony Noland
She died because she refused chemo.
She refused chemo because she saw what it did to her mother.
She saw what it did to her mother because she took care of her mother in her final days.
She took care of her mother because there was no one else to do it.
There was no one else to do it because her father died when she was twelve.
Her father died because he got a raging blood infection.
He got a raging blood infection because a small wound went untreated.
The small wound went untreated because he didn't notice it.
He didn't notice it because he had severe numbness in the backs of his thighs.
His thighs were numb because he had diabetes.
He had diabetes because he was so enormously obese.
He was obese because he ate the wrong foods, and far too much of it.
He ate so much because he was clinically depressed.
He was depressed because he'd been beaten as a child.
He'd been beaten as a child because his mother didn't want him.
She didn't want him because she'd been raped at age 15 by a large man, a very troubled man, who gained entry to her house, claiming to be a school crossing guard who needed to borrow the telephone.
That was, of course, before any of us had cellphones.
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