Across Two Aprils

Chuck Mallory
Aug 5, 2016 · 3 min read

April 9, 1966

Yum, I am drinking chocolate milk right now! I am having a bowl of Quisp, too. Quisp flakes look like little flying saucers. Plus, Mom said I can get a glazed doughnut later when we go shopping at Temple Stephens Grocery! So this is a good day.

Right now I am watching my favorite cartoon, “The Beatles.” And I stay on this channel, because next comes “Casper” and then comes “Magilla Gorilla.”

I hope Judy has her friends over today. They let me watch “American Bandstand” with them and I like to see them dance. Too bad the Beatles new song “Nowhere Man” is so stupid. If they play it I will plug my ears.

Maybe this afternoon Jim and I can play! He got a new G.I. Joe last night.

April 9, 2016

I awake to Saturday in the recliner I’ve slept in next to my 22-year-old son in Methodist Hospital. I worry about the day to come. Max’d had two brain seizures earlier in the month and a brain surgery on Tuesday that I didn’t think he would live through. But it was just fear. We had a good surgeon. He has been through chemo, surgeries, and will have high-dose chemo next month. His very aggressive testicular cancer has stampeded through his body since October. But we will beat it.

We want to go home and feel trapped here. We have been in the hospital a lot.

He is still asleep. He couldn’t sleep last night so we both stayed up, talking about our lives together, years back. He remembered “orange dinner” for Halloween when I made hot dogs with an orange sauce (ketchup and mustard), Cheetos and Orange Crush. I thought he’d forgotten. We talked about the afternoons in the park where we fed race-car-shaped Chili Cheese Fritos to the squirrels.

Max remembered a road trip when we talked for miles about our plans for a TV cartoon we wanted to create about truckers. He talked about our cat, Toonces, now perched, no doubt, on a high ledge in heaven. She liked high places. And we remembered the school in Denver where he could see the mountains from his second-grade room. He wants to go back and visit Colorado.

We re-lived his whole life. I can’t wait till he wakes up and we can talk more.


Max Mallory passed away May 20, 2016. His last post for Medium, on April 12, was posted from Methodist Hospital, where our insurance still hadn’t released us.

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Chuck Mallory

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Chicago author. Former writer for men's fitness mags. Father of two sons, one of them on each side of life.