17,532

Forty-eight years.  According to www.convertunits.com that’s 17,532 days.

In my opinion, July 25, 1964 officially kicked off one of the greatest love stories ever lived. True, it technically started months earlier when they met, but this is the date marked to celebrate and it encompasses their whole story.  For me, it’s actually the most important love story because it’s when Marilyn Teters married Richard (Dick) Lee.  Many years later (let’s not get into the exact number), I was born.

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What’s Going On

Today is Black Friday.  This year, I’m referring to it as Bleak Friday.  But that might sound a bit pessimistic.  I don’t want to sound gloomy because I have a lot to be thankful for.  Let me explain my predicament.

A couple of weeks ago we found out my mom has run out of options regarding her CLL.  The doctors sent her home so that she could put her house in order before the tumors overtake her body.  A couple weeks ago we found out death would be visiting but we have no time frame or schedule.  And so we wait. 

I thought of calling this blog, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Death,” but I thought that might be too crass.  Even though, that’s exactly what I want to know.  How many good days can I expect?  What can I do to provide her the most comfort?  What words need to be said right now? 

A co-worker has buried a brother and sister due to cancer.  She told me, “At first, we wanted to make each day count and not waste any precious moments.”  Her eyes narrowed, she leaned forward and touched my forearm, “But there will come a time when you will be begging for mercy for her.”  Maybe I’m better off not knowing.

Someone mentioned to my mom that this isn’t fair.  I’m not claiming injustice.  In fact, I think if I were to even utter the word “unfair,” I’d have a line-up of people ready to dispute my claim.

  First in line would be my Grandma T.  “Unfair?  Really?  My dad died before I was born.”

Next would be my Grandma L.  “I lost my mom when I was nine years old.  N. I. N. E.  The following year the very first Mother’s Day was celebrated.  That was unpleasant.”

A friend, “My mom died when I was still in high school.”

Even my mom could join in, “My mom died when I was 24 and expecting my first child – her first grandchild.  She was undergoing surgery so that she could enjoy her grandchildren.  But she never got to see any.  That was 45 years ago.”

The line would be long.  No, I’m not going to cry “Unfair!”  Especially when we received a four year extension with mom that most people don’t get to have.  There is one exception, when I see old women who still have their moms.  A former classmate of my dad is still carting her mother around.  Okay, that’s unfair.

For the most part, I don’t feel inequality with this trial.  As mom said, “It’s our turn.” 

The other day I asked her what she was thinking.  Her voice is gone due to the incessant coughing but her eyes are still very much alert.  I know there’s more going on inside than she lets on.  So I asked her what was going on in there.  She forced a small smile and hoarsely whispered, “Life sucks.”

There are two words my mother does not use because she considers them vulgar.  They are not the mild swear words that sometimes slip out of her own mouth.  I have been taught a lady never uses the words “crap” or “suck.”  When she told me “Life sucks,” I nodded my head in agreement and said, “Yeah, sometimes it really does.”

For two weeks I’ve been praying we’d be able to enjoy one final family feast for Thanksgiving.  And we did.  Which I am extremely thankful for.

This is why I haven’t been posting regularly.  But someday I will get back to my schedule.  For now, I’m trying to be thankful for each day as it comes.