Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A memory to last a lifetime

photo via

It is a week that I will remember all my life.......It was the one time that we lied to Ana Beth....

Mary had  seen the doctor.....There was a lump on her breast, and the likelihood of it being
malignant  was about   98%.    We decided to have Ana-Beth and the kids come to Dell City.
I don't remember who arranged the details, but there was one thing that I had to swear to.
Ana Beth must not know that her mother was sick.......Now, both of us were emotional wrecks,
but as far as  our Princess was concerned, it must be a normal family visit......Was it right
or wrong to do things this way?   I don't know, but it was not my decision to make....It was
what Mary wanted........

Ana Beth has a beautiful laugh, and  we both needed to hear her laugh again.  For Mary,
it might be her last time to hear her daughter laugh.  So,  I drove to the far west side of El Paso
and escorted Ana Beth's car out to Dell City........

As far as anybody was concerned, it was a lark, a happy time.....A chance to see the grandkids.
The deep somber undercurrents had to be painted over......They didn't exist......

That  was the time I really bonded with Sara.....She became the apple of my eye....A place
she has held  every day of her life since then.   Did we fool Ana Beth?    One of the things
about her is her uncanny ability to read  situations through some psychic link that seemed
to exist between her and her mother.......She knew there was something wrong, but she wasn't
certain just what.........

I held Mary close and we cried  when Ana-Beth, Sara, Jesse, and Brian left.  Everything
in us wanted to hold on to them, but the children were so small, and a Hospital is no place
for children 4, 3, and 2, years of age......

The day of Mary's surgery came, and I cursed myself for being  too protective of Ana-Beth,
and letting  Mary talk me into  keeping her un-informed.......Yet,  Ana-Beth was also the fragile
one.......If things went badly, as they quite likely would, there would be time for tears. Buckets
of tears, Oceans of tears......Why give her a few extra days of worry?

Then the surgery was done.  She had lost  both breasts and 29  lymph nodes...Beyond
that, the doctor had given her 3 months to live at the outside........I had been in the recovery
room with my wife.....I was there when the nurses couldn't get enough blood pressure to
register on their machine.

I knew then,  that Ana Beth should have known.   For her sake? No, for my sake.   I desperately
needed someone to cling to.

We found another Doctor, and the  M.D. Anderson trained Oncologist stretched the three
months into 15 years.  We fought Cancer about every other year for a long time.....In the end,
we lost the fight, but we fought every minute of the fight together.

So, why is the old fool burrowing into  the  sad years of the past?  Is there impending doom?
No, quite the opposite....Ana Beth and Sara are flying into Albany for my birthday.....I have
not seen them in so many years.    They are my ladies, and they will be here with me.
How can I explain how I feel........Somehow, I feel that, just maybe, Mary will be here too.
Be happy for us, dear friends.

They'll be here the evening of July 9, and they will leave on the 13th......My fearless 4 year
old grand daughter is a lady,   and Ana-Beth?   my 5 foot 11.5"  blue eyed blonde bombshell?
Oh she'll wrap me around her little finger as she has for many years, and I'll enjoy every
minute of it.--June 17, 2010

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