"From left to right we are, Char Merritt (Cancer didn't survive her 10 years ago - she refuses to be called a "survivor"), Tina Gardner, Deb Rasmussen (my bosses wife who has been through chemo three times for breast cancer), Kelly Phillips, and me. I am praying for you daily, Vicky, and now all of us are! Hang in there and fight like a girl!"
Thanks Lisa! With that "tour de force" of women who have stood up to cancer and won repeatedly, on my side, their invincibility gives me strength and courage!
Elizabeth sent me this photo yesterday all the way from LONDON! Wow, my bracelets are well traveled! I love the Tower Bridge and it was just 22 years ago May that I took much the same picture of that bridge myself.
I awoke this morning with a steady drip of blood coming from my nose. Tack it onto an increasing list of side effects from the chemo. Our excursion to the Cities this weekend cost me, (although I wouldn't have done it any differently) I have a new burning sensation in my sternum and feel a new achiness in general. The pain goes as high as an 8 on the scale of 1-10 of pain management. But it only last seconds and releases. It just returns sometimes as quickly as it goes. I've tried eating, and not, Ranitidine and Tums, standing and sitting. The only real relief was in moving forward with my day yesterday. I managed to pack 6 laundry baskets of clothes, shoes, blankets, purses, hats, etc, for Dakota Boys Ranch. I'm in a mood to sort, clean, organize and throw, both in my surroundings and internally as the metaphor seems to apply to my life in general.
Plus, I can't stop thinking about my Dad. My mom told me two things yesterday, 1) that one of her sisters put flowers on his grave and so 2) she didn't feel the need to go visit Dad's grave with us. Sigh. Its classic for my mom and I marvel at how her emotion doesn't seem to kick in so that she WANTS to go.
But I am my father's daughter. Despite the ache of missing him of wanting to be close to him and talk to him. Knowing, 6 feet under was as close as I would get, I wanted to go to him. I've been drying flowers for almost a year. They were wild flowers growing on my Dad's childhood farm and we picked them last summer. Colton and I crushed them in a bag and sprinkled them all over the grave and trampled them into the dirt. I like the idea of bringing a piece of his home, home to him, even though I know he isn't really there.
There were no other flowers on the grave as mom had said. A small flag flew by his grave, in the whirling winds on the forefront of what would become a night of severe thunderstorms. We would spend part of the night hunkered down in the basement, no electricity, just the crack of lightning as the thunder boomed and the howl of the straight line winds blowing the patio furniture across the deck.
But first we tended the grave sites. First my Dad's, and then my nephew Hunter's . Colton painstakingly untangled Hunter's windchimes, and replaced the fallen pinwheel. Then he rested the stuffed bear in a nook of the marker, taking great care to see that it was comfortable in its new home. His tender and gentle demeanor were a pull on my heart. This boy is so loving.
We took one last walk around the cemetery. It was the unadorned graves we stopped at and read their names and said a quick prayer for them. They were WWII and WWI vets. We honored them by carrying their names into the wind, acknowledging their sacrifices for their country, for us.