Posts Tagged ‘love’

 My maternal grandmother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in early 1987.  After a mastectomy of one of her breasts, removal of several lymph nodes, and radiation treatment, she went into remission for 8 years.  She took tamoxifen to keep the cancer away.  She was advised to discontinue the tamoxifen because the drug itself can cause cancerous tumors with long-term usage.  Shortly after going off of the tamoxifen, her breast cancer came out of remission.  I do not know if it was a result of going off the drug or if it would have happened whether she was on it or not.

When the cancer returned, it returned with a vengeance and it had metastasized to her bones.  I did not realize until this time that you can have breast cancer in your bones and it is still considered breast cancer not bone cancer.  She was having problems with her back and the orthopedic surgeon actually found the cancer in an X-Ray.  This time the treatment was far more aggressive with chemotherapy.  She fought valiantly.  The cancer continued to torment her body and spread to her brain and her lungs.  It was a long battle and finally after 2 years of fighting she decided it was time to stop.  She was in hospice care at my parents’ house when she died, 9 years ago on October 25.  

My grandmother did a lot of things very well. 

She had to drop out of high school to help take care of her siblings and her family when her father died.  She was always embarrassed that she did not graduate from high school.  So, when I was in elementary school, she got her GED.  She was so proud of that accomplishment and we were proud of her.

She played the piano at her church, which is where she first met my grandfather.  She and my grandfather built the house that they lived in together for over 40 years. 

She was a wonderful seamstress and made so many of my dresses growing up.  After her mastectomy, her arm and incision site hurt and she did not sew like she previously had.   My senior year in high school I decided to take up sewing so I could learn this skill in which she was an expert.  She helped me learn to sew.  I am glad I have this skill not only because it is useful to know but mainly because it connects me to my grandmother.

Oh, and she could cook homemade country meals like no other!  Of course, that is what all grandmothers do well, don’t they?  She made THE BEST fried chicken, fried okra, creamed corn, and biscuits.  When I was in college, I realized that she would not always be around and I made a point of staying at her house one weekend to learn how to cook her chicken and biscuits.  I must say one weekend does not produce an expert biscuit maker but over the years I have learned to make them as well as she did.  Every time I make them I cannot help but think of her.  Last week in all of my batch cooking I made several portions of biscuit dough to freeze and eat throughout the coming months.  YUM!

She loved us, her child – my mom, and her 4 grandchildren and we loved her.  I hope one day I get to be a grandmother and pass down the biscuit making tradition to my own grandchildren and to love them the way she loved us.

In memory of my grandmother and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I urge you to do your monthly self-exams and get your mammogram as directed by your physician.  Since my grandmother caught her breast cancer through a self exam, she was able to have 9 more years with her family.  During those years she watched 3 of her 4 grandchildren graduate from high school, 1 of her grandchildren (me) graduate from college and get married, she had 4 more years with her husband before he died, she moved into an adorable cottage home that was just right for seniors, she got to ride an airplane (which she had never done), and she went out of the country on a cruise (both of which were things she had never done before).  Hopefully, one day there will be a cure to all the cancers in the world.  Until that time, do what you can to prevent cancer in your own family and to treat it as you can if you are faced with it.

This post is being entered in The Carnival of Family Life. It is my first time participating.

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BusyBoy and GigglyGirl are 4 1/2 years old now.  They have gone from totally dependent to quasi-independent.  They have grown physically, intellectually, and emotionally. 

Mr. Right and I have always told our children that we love them numerous times each day and give them lots of hugs and kisses everyday.  We also tell each other that we love each other and hug and kiss in front of the children.  The first kisses they gave to us were so cute, sweet, and innocent.  The first time they said “I love you” to us our hearts melted.  Now, they show love to each other and to us unprompted numerous times throughout the day.  They love unconditionally with so much passion.  Often times, when one is sad or scared, the other one will come up and put one arm around the sad one to give comfort.  Even when they are angry at each other or us, they still will give a hug and kiss with their apology and they accept our hugs and kisses as well. 

Their love knows no limits.  They just know how to give it and how to accept it.  They give it freely, unselfishly, and without demanding anything in return.

A child’s capacity to learn amazes me.  They learn from watching, listening, and imitating.  They memorize and recite.  They use deductive reasoning.  They ask question after question after question to learn more each and every day.  When they are not certain that their answer is correct they ask for the correct answer, then repeat it to firmly store it in their memory.  If they do something wrong, they do not get up in arms from gentle correction.  They do not take correction personally but appreciate it because they have learned something new from the correction.  They accept that they do not know everything and look to authority figures and experts (mainly Mr. Right and me) to teach them. 

This yearning for learning without offense with correction is amazing.  I have learned a thing or two from their yearning for learning.  When I do not know something, I am more eager to look the answer up so we have the correct answer rather than a guess.  Also, when I am wrong and Mr. Right or a caring friend corrects me, I try (although I do not always succeed) to remember that we are on the same team and that gentle correction is not offensive but is given because the friend or family member cares about me.

 Yearning for learning and love without limits are the best things about 4 1/2 year olds to me.

This was written as part of the October Group Writing Project hosted by MommaBlogga.  Be sure to check out the other entries in the project.

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Today marks Mr. Right’s and my 15th Wedding Anniversary.  It is hard to believe that we were married 15 years ago.  When I think of 1992, it seems like such a short time ago.  Then I see pictures or hear songs from the early 90’s and it seems like a long time ago.

Mr. Right and I met our freshmen year of college.  We went to a small United Methodist College that was a junior college at the time.  While it was a junior college, there were dorms and we both lived on campus.  The first time I ever met him was one night when it was raining.  He offered to share his umbrella with a friend and me.

On Halloween of 1988, we became very good friends.  He listened to my dramas and I listened to his stories.  He sat in front of me in a history class taught by an incredibly liberal professor.  I would tap his shoulder every time the professor went off on President Reagan or President Bush.  He knew exactly what I was thinking about how wrong the professor was.

While Mr. Right and I both liked each other and were interested in being more than friends, it was not until the spring of 1990 when we both were single that we started dating.  We knew within a month that we shared the same life goals.  We knew within about 2 months that we were in love and could envision a future together.

In 1992, we were married at the age of 22.  The photographer said she had never seen a bride smile as much as me.  She kept trying to get me to look serious for a photo but I could not quit smiling.

Since 1992, our lives have changed and we have grown up so much.  We went from a college lifestyle to careers.  We have lived the Dual Income No Kids lifestyle and enjoyed it.  We both traveled with our jobs.  While glamorous at first, it gets old fast.  We have had some nice vacations.  We have become community servants and volunteers.  We have become political activists, which was probably a natural progression from that History class in college.

We have prayed together.  We have prayed for each other.  We have dreamed big dreams.  We have worked together to make the dreams a reality.

We have faced the struggles of infertility.  We have nursed each other through illness and surgery.  We have comforted each other and our family through the deaths of grandparents.  We have become parents to not just one child but twins, which truly are twice as nice. 

We have started a business from the ground up and watched it grow.  We have watched the same business struggle and ultimately close. 

We have argued and loved.  We have admitted mistakes and have forgiven each other.  We have learned from our mistakes.  We have laughed, cried, and laughed some more.   

Through it all our love has grown deeper each day.  We appreciate, respect, and trust each other.  Mr. Right still makes my stomach flutter and my heart skip a beat.  When he looks at me across a crowded room and winks at me, I feel his love to my core. 

Mr. Right really is right for me in so many ways.  He shares my Christian faith and my political views.  He is smart, kind, caring, hopeful, and friendly.  He can be cunning and aggressive, when necessary.  He is a father who loves and is not afraid to show that love.  He helps around the house and he loves to cook.  He does not like to watch sports on tv.  He does like to find tv shows we can enjoy together.  He is my right hand man, right thinking man, and right for me husband, and I love him!. 

Mr. Right, thank you for 15 wonderful, exciting years.  I am looking forward to many, many years to come!  I love you!

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