Hope You're Feeling Better, Chesty O'Massman

This is my brother-in-law. Two weeks ago, doctors cut him open and collapsed his left lung in order to remove an unidentifiable mass behind his heart. They removed the mass, stitched him back up, and gave him painful breathing exercises to re-inflate the lung. He is home now sans mystery mass (which contained no cancer cells — thank you Jesus) trying to heal up.

For a distraction from the pain (and I'm told lung-inflating and chest-surgery healing is crazy painful), he bought a copy of The Grapes of Wrath. If I were trying to keep my mind off excruciating pain, I would have chosen something fluffy and happy and light. But not this mountain man. He chose bleak dust bowls, Depression migration, and starvation to keep his mind occupied. This is a tough cookie. This is a guy who shoots limbs out of trees as a part of his job. This is a guy who pulls his own EKG stickers off his hairy chest.

Feel better soon, Captain RibcageRage. We're thinking about you.