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Authors: Curtis Bunn

Seize the Day

BOOK: Seize the Day
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Dear Reader:

Curtis Bunn has carved a niche as a storyteller from a male perspective, taking pride in crafting tales such as
The Old Man in the Club
about the older guy who frequents the club scene in search “catching up” to
The Truth Is in the Wine
with a husband who keeps secret that he's a lottery winner while attempting to rekindle his marriage. Now the author focuses on health, bringing us the tale of a Washington, D.C. high school English teacher who suddenly, after a routine exam, discovers he has cancer.

When diagnosed as terminally ill, Calvin Jones must decide if he should take the chemotherapy he is offered to extend his life. He makes the choice to decline and to focus on living his life in the fullest.

This thought-provoking journey leads readers to ponder what they would do if in the same scenario. A discussion guide is included where readers can continue the buzz about handling news of an illness.

The author's message through the eyes of Calvin is emphatically about each of us embracing and seizing each day.

As always, thanks for supporting myself and the Strebor Books family. We strive to bring you the most cutting-edge, out-of-the-box material on the market. You can find me on Facebook
@AuthorZane
or you can email me at
[email protected]
.

Blessings,

Publisher

Strebor Books

www.simonandschuster.com

To my late grandmother, Nettie Royster aka “Mama.” Your love and wisdom are missed, but remain in my heart.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

God, the Almighty, Ever-Present, Omnipotent, continues to bless me in ways beyond measure. All things start and stop with Him. Thank you, Lord.

It's been thirty-five years since the death of my father, Edward Earl Bunn, Sr., and yet I still dream of him and I pray that he knows his name will always live through us, his family. My mother, Julia Bunn, has been my closest ally all my life and my friend and traveling partner as an adult. Her beauty, inside and outside, illuminates my life. My brothers, Billy and Eddie, and my sister, Tammy Beck, are my first and everlasting friends that I love through and through.

Curtis Jr. and Gwendolyn (Bunny) are my children, my lifeblood, my heartbeats. They make me proud and humble. Gordon, my nephew/second son, makes my chest stick out. I love my niece, Tamayah (Bink Bink), a college student, and nephew Eddie Jr., who I expect big things. My cousins, Warren (Button) Eggleston and Greg Agnew are really my brothers. Ditto for my brother-in-law, Deryk Beck. And I am grateful for my loving cousin Carolyn Keener and uncle Al and aunts Thelma and Barbara and Ms. Brenda Brown.

My wife, Felita Sisco Bunn, is the love of my life, my “wholemate,” closest friend and proof that true love exists. I'm grateful for my mother-in-law, Shirley Jordan, and Larry Jordan and father-in-law, Ted Baker, Cecilia Baker and the Baker clan.

The Strebor Books family, led by Zane and Charmaine Roberts Parker, mean more than any typed words can convey. Thank you!!!

I enjoy listing by name the supporters because you all mean so much to me: My ace, Trevor Nigel Lawrence, Keith (Blind) and Delores Gibson, Darryl K. Washington Kerry and Loretta Muldrow, Randy and Flecia Brown, Sam and Maureen Myers, Ronnie and Tarita Bagley, Tony and Raye Starks, Darryl (DJ) and Wanda Johnson, Lyle Harris, Monya M. Battle, Tony Hall, Marc Davenport, Tami Rice-Mitchell, Brad Corbin, William Mitchell, J.B. Hill, Bob & La Detra White, Tamaira Johnson Kent Davis, Andre Johnson, Wayne Ferguson, Tony & Erika Sisco, Karen Turner, Betty Roby, Leslie Neland, Kathy Brown, Venus Chapman, Monica Harris Wade, Tara Ford, Christine Beatty, Greg Willis, Al Whitney, Brian White, Ronnie Akers, Jacques Walden, Dennis Wade, Julian Jackson, Mark Webb, Kelvin Lloyd, Frank Nelson, Hayward Horton, Mark Bartlett, Marvin Burch, Derrick (Nick Lambert), Gerald Mason, Charles E. Johnson, Harry Sykes, Kim Mosley, Angela Davis, Ed (Bat) Lewis, Shelia Harrison, David A. Brown, Rev. Hank Davis, Susan Davis-Wigenton, Donna Richardson, Sheila Wilson, Curtis West, Bruce Lee, Val Guilford, Derek T. Dingle, Ramona Palmer, Warren Jones, Deberah (Sparkle) Williams, Leon H. Carter, Ricky K. Brown, Clay Dade, Zack Withers, Kevin Davis, Sybil & Leroy Savage, Avis Easley, Demetress Graves, Anna Burch, Kevin & Hope Jones, George Hughes, Sandra Smith, Sheila Wilson, Mary Knatt, Serena Knight, Joi Edwards, Sonya Perry, Daphne Grissom, Denise Taylor, Diana Joseph, Derrick (Tinee) Muldrow, Rick Eley, Marty McNeal, Nikita Germaine Houston, D.L. Cummings, Rob Parker, Cliff Brown, D. Orlando Ledbetter, Garry Howard, Stephen A. Smith, LaToya Tokley, Angela Paige, Clifford Benton, Len Burnett, Lesley Hanesworth, Sherline Tavenier, Jeri Byrom, Carla Griffin, Liketa Morris, E. Franklin Dudley, Skip Grimes, Christine Beatty, Jeff Stevenson, Billy Robinson, Jay Nichols, Ralph Howard, Paul Spencer, Jai Wilson, John Hollis, Garry Raines, Glen Robinson, Dwayne Gray, Jessica Ferguson, Carolyn Glover, Kim Royster, Erin Sherrod, Mike Dean, Sheryl Wesley, Dexter Santos, Chastity Austin, John Hughes, Sherri Polite, Mark Lassiter, Tony Carter, Kimberly Frelow, Michele Ship, Michelle Lemon, Zain, Karen Shepherd, Carmen Carter, Tawana Turner-Green, Marilyn Bibby, Sheryl Williams-Jones, Jewell Rollen, Harold Rose, Danielle Carrington, Nia Simmons, Cheryl Jones, Kiesha Pough, Karen Marie Orange, Ashley Nicole, Yvonne Young, Barbara Hopkins, Vonda Henderson, Danny Anderson, Shauna Tisdale, Melzetta Oliver, April Kidd, Keisha Hutchinson, Olivia Alston, John Hollis, Dorothy (Dot) Harrell, Aggie Nteta, Ursula Renee, Carrie Haley, Anita Wilson, Tim Lewis, David Dickerson, Sandra Velazquez, Pam Cooper, Regina Troy, Denise Thomas, Andre Aldridge, Brenda O'Bryant, Pargeet Wright, Mike Christian, Sid Tutani, Tammy Grier, Regina Collins, Roland Louis, April Tarver, Penny Payne, Cynthia Fields, Dr. Yvonne Sanders-Butler, Alicia Guice, Clara LeRoy, Calvin Sutton, Denise Bethea, Hadjii Hand, Fred Gore, Bernadette Brown, Petey Franklin and The Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, King of Akyem Abuakwa Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa.

Special thanks and love to my great alma mater, Norfolk State University (Class of 1983); the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha (especially the Notorious E Pi of Norfolk State); Ballou High School (Class of '79), ALL of Washington, D.C., especially my beloved Southeast.

I am also grateful to all the readers and wonderful book clubs that have supported my work over the years and to my literary many friends Nathan McCall, Carol Mackey, Linda Duggins, Terrie M. Williams, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Walter Mosley, Monica Michelle, Nick Chiles, Denene Millner, Leslie Neland and Nhat Crawford.

I'm sure I left off some names—it was not intentional. If you know me, you know my mind is going…but not my imagination.
I appreciate and I am grateful for you. #LiveLife

Peace and blessings,

—Curtis

CHAPTER ONE
LIFE

I
'm about to die. Doctor said so. Maybe not today. Perhaps tomorrow. Whenever it's coming, it's coming soon.

Cancer.

But I'm not scared. I'm a little anxious, a little curious, to be honest. Curious about how it will happen. Where I will be at that moment—the place and where will I be in my head, my mind. Will I get scared when I feel it coming?
Will
I feel it coming?

Well, those are thoughts for another day, a day that, truth be told, should not come for a few months or so. That's how long it will take the cancer to totally ravage and deplete my body and put me to sleep. Forever. That's what the doctors say. And they know everything.

So, here I am. In the prime of my life…waiting on death.

Can't cry about it. Not anymore. When I said I wasn't scared, I was talking about now. A month ago, when Dr. Wamer gave me the news, I was scared as shit.

Do you have any idea what it's like to be told you're at the end of your life's journey? At forty-five? With a sweet daughter? With so much more to do? With so much undone?

I was so overwhelmed that it took me two days to pull myself out of bed, to turn on the lights in my house, to eat an apple. Then it took me another two days to tell my father, who took it as if cancer was eating away at his existence.

“Why can't it be me, Calvin?” he said. “Why you? You've lived a good life. The best thing I ever did was marry your momma—God rest her soul—and contribute to your birth. The rest of my life, I can't say I'm that proud of. Except you. You've made me proud.”

And why did he say that? I bawled like a freshly spanked newborn, and my sixty-eight-year-old dad and I hugged each other at the kitchen table at his house for what seemed like an hour, two men afraid out of their wits.

Since then, I have pulled myself together—what's left of me, that is. Doctors say they can't do surgery, but I can try radiation and perhaps chemo. But there are no guarantees. That's code for: “it won't work.” And I have seen how debilitating those treatments can be.

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