Epiphany

Phil Lofton
Porch Light Collective
2 min readJan 10, 2021

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Part of the 2020 Liturgical Calendar Storywriting Project.

An Epihany Benediction.

Photo by Phil

The day my mother’s legacy went up in smoke was, by her own word, the best day of her life. I’ve never had the firmest grip on her work — it’s medicine for pancreatic cancer, I can tell you that much — but I know that for the last twenty year’s, it’s been the drug. The Treatment that can keep you alive long enough to settle your affairs, say your goodbyes, and go out on a high note.

It paid for my college and my Ph.D., and my kid’s college for that matter. Her office, that monstrosity of mahogany, was full of framed letters from patients and their families thanking her for the extra weeks she had given back to them from the disease.

We were in Saugatuck on the porch of the beach house when she got the news. Her mentee had done it, finally “cracked the code” and made something better. Something that would put years, decades even, back on the clock, maybe even take the fangs away from pancreatic cancer altogether. It wasn’t a surprise — Shani had been in constant communication with my mother the whole way through the development of the drug — but once the publications were out, it was decisive. The drug was safe, the drug worked, and the drug was ready.

My mother held my son on her lap as I read her the news — her eyes no longer would do the work — and cried as she kissed his head.

“I hope you get this someday,” she said to me, bobbing the baby on her knee, “I hope that the best you expect out of life, the best you can do gets wildly overshot by what it inspires.”

© Phil Lofton, 2020, all rights reserved.

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Phil Lofton
Porch Light Collective

Storyteller, Podcaster, Percussionist. Proud member of the Porch Light Collective.