Trifecta: Doorway


The world tipped sideways when they told me the news.

Not good, they said. Very invasive, they said. You should get your things in order. Say your goodbyes. Then they patted my hand and sent me on my way.

I’ve never been one to back down from a fight. When that girl, Tracy, pulled my hair in Grade 2, the teachers had to drag me off of her. Then there was that idiot at a concert who got way too close. I used my elbows to give him a piece of my mind. And apparently telemarketers block my number all by themselves.

So naturally, I fought the invasive bastard that was eating my brain with everything at my disposal. Chemo, radiation, drugs, and eventually surgery. When that didn’t work, I moved on to the alternatives — trying every concoction I could get my hands on.

But this was a fight I couldn’t win.

We all die, but not everyone is confronted with it in such a ruthless way. To see it coming and be powerless to stop it was agonizing. I wanted more time and less pain. I wanted my hair back. I wanted to grow old and be a burden to my children — or at least society. I wanted to return to the days when I still believed I was immortal. But I was helpless. So I raged and I mourned as loudly as I could.

And then, when I had exhausted the depths of my anguish, something new began to grow inside me, like a mystery shimmering just beyond the horizon. There was a door, tucked away at the edges of existence, waiting for me to step through it. I started to realize how little I knew about the universe I belonged to — and my curiosity crept out from under my anguish.

Perhaps this world was finished with me, but as I made my peace, I could hear the universe calling my name. Asking me to come out and play.


This is my submission for this week’s Trifecta challenge. This week’s word is door and the third definition is: a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>.

This week Trifecta is community-judged, so check out some of the other awesome submission then come on back and vote at the end of the week.

Here are the rules:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.


Image credit: The Amazing Planet Saturn / NASA


64 thoughts on “Trifecta: Doorway

  1. I like the transition from denial to making peace with things , it still makes me sad though .
    Nice piece .

  2. Oh, this is brilliant Suzanne. One of the best I’ve read in weeks! It’s starts out funny, then that deep sadness, then hopeful again. Brilliant.

  3. I love how you plunged us into despair and then lifted us up with a light of peace and hope by the end. I really liked it.

    Oh, and I laughed at this: “And apparently telemarketers block my number all by themselves.” – more details on how she accomplished this, please 🙂

  4. Suzanne, this was brilliant! I love the idea that even though she is saying goodbye to the world-the entire universe awaits her discovery! There is nothing to fear in that-when a grand adventure is about to begin Just love this!

  5. What a terrific, bravely rendered story, Suzanne! I, too, want to be a burden to society – what ah great line. The fight, then the realization It is all so good. And the universe calling to play!!! Chapeau.

  6. Great take on the prompt! The theme and the writing were really captivating, especially with the photo you added.

  7. That first line “The world tipped sideways when they told me the news.” sets up the ending so powerfully. It’s as if the persona thinks the world has tripped sideways in one direction, but actually, it’s tripped in another, and she only begins to see it as her life winds down.

  8. “And apparently telemarketers block my number all by themselves.”lol!And then ,”— and my curiosity crept out from under my anguish.:-wow!Loved this beautifully sad yet uplifting piece from you Suzanne:-)

  9. This really touched me. My mom, age 70, just died of stage 4 lung cancer in October. Your essay has given me more peace than anything else in the last 6 months. Thank you for writing an important essay.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment — I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I’m so very sorry for your loss, but I’m glad that my words gave you some peace.

  10. Congratulations on the Trifecta award!! This was a great piece and I especially loved that line, “my curiosity crept out from under my anguish” The entire piece was so emotionally compelling–loved the fighter (yes, I gave as good as I got, or better too in grade school-ha!), made me laugh about being a burden to your children or society–very well done!

  11. I love the juxtaposition of fighting and transcendence; it’s kind of how I’ve always imagined I’ll go out, with cranky grace 😉 Really lovely writing.

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