..........were dropping like flies here.........

i dont know how to write this.


so I will tell it in the way I did over the phone late Wednesday night to Annabel, my youngest, whose graduating from Missoula and getting married next summer.

"first, is Chris there"? 

(if you dont have your own 6'1 Chris, then make sure you have a comfort item nearby)

"From the c-scan multiple reviews by everyone and their janitor, the bloodwork, and the irregular shape that looks like a squashed lime and placement of the mass, the Oncologist  we met, who happens to be one of the heads of the Cancer center and top notch definitely Irish guy, is fairly certain its lymphoma."

"he says he will hook me up with his best friend there who not only graduated from Harvard, but did research at John Hopkins and is an excellent hematologist  - and then he said he always takes care of his ladies so he gave me some good drugs to help sleep at night when I cant sleep"

"surgery to remove it and to check my pelvic cavity, for anything else and for adhesions from that surgery i had done 10 years ago that neutered me will be done in less then two weeks with him and the general surgeon, and then from there we can start talking treatment. It most likely will be a 
chemo thing"

"I have great chance of beating this into submission as I am young, in great shape - he had to ask me age again as he said "you dont look 48!!" and that we CAUGHT IT EARLY during a regular checkup. It was good I followed the dr.s advice at that regular exam and didnt put off that cat scan"

"and I most likely will have short or no hair for your wedding...is that okay?"

After listening to my baby daughter sob and sob and then start to sniffle, then begin to breathe normally again, her words were exactly the right words that a feral mom who doesnt want to screw up her daughters planning for a perfect gorgeous weddiing day needs to hear ~

"mom, you will be beautiful no matter what"

and then

"you have a nicely shaped head, you can so get away with it, mom"

we laughed together and sniffled at the same time, sharing a little of the burden of the unknown in that way, having small girl talk about her and sister teaching me how to put on some really cool fake eyelashes...then the conversation dwindled to quiet reflectiveness...

And unfortunately I had to continue.

" Hey ann, is Chris there with you now?"

I waited.

"yep, hes in the room with me".

"while i was talking with Aunt N. tonight while she was at Grandpa's, Grandpa Ray died - you know hes 87 and since he was recently put into hospice, he just didnt have that long"

this took a little time while she sobbed - I was soooo glad Chris was there.  Thank you Chris. You are now an official member of this family in my book, wedding date be darned....I could hear him asking whats wrong baby?  in the lovers tone, the one reserved only for your beloved, the loved one you marry for forever and can count on always....i imagined he was holding her, and I knew she would be okay always, even if I couldnt hold her...

but  I still wasnt done.

"okay Sweet pea, one more thing..."

"oh gosh Mom what now? really?  

she laughed a harsh tough little adult laugh - one that sounded remotely like me a few hours before. Its funny how even the littlest mannerisms get passed down from generation to generation.

"Your aunt K had a mini stroke yesterday - she was in the hospital but she is out now."

"Is she okay?"

The rise caught in her voice echoed her concern; this was my oldest sister, the one who always took care of the girls when I was a single mom so i could go to my once a year spring fishing retreat in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. She did this because she knew that being a single mom herself once, that all moms need a healthy break from their children. She and Uncle B. would take them to the bestest places, and they felt loved and on vacay too - so much so that they wanted me to go on more trips then once a year lol...

"she will be okay. They did lots of tests and they came up good.  This apparently was a warning stroke and she has been put on meds along with diet changes and stuff. we gotta keep her in our prayers that she lives a long happy life..."

" yes!....and you too, mom!!"

"yes Ann...

...and me too."


March 1924 -  September 2011

My Dad

 taught me how to catch, clean & cook fish, use power tools, 
throw horseshoes, change oil,
hang drywall, and drive a stick shift.

Hes a good part of why I am so strong.

Thanks  Dad.



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