Amsterdam airport is a huge and stark place. Lit by sheets of neon lights, it towers into the heavens and winds into places unseen. There are other airports which are warmer, more familiar, less intimidating, but as I sit here at 8.30 in the morning, I feel more comforted than I have for a long time.
My father was murdered in a bootlegging turf war with the mafia. Although it wasn't cancer that killed him, my family felt the same secrecy, disgrace, and guilt. Like cancer, it was the death that had no name. Like cancer, my mother never acknowledged my father's death. Not once. Not in her entire life. He was our cancer.