Ain’t nine fine?

As you can see from the strap around her neck, shutterbug-ism runs in my family. 🙂
Photo courtesy of Martha DeGroote

Well, no, actually.  At least, not for me.  If you thought my seventh year was bad, hold onto your hats.

When I was eight, my mom went back to school to become a medical transcriptionist.  She finished her program a year later and was offered a job at a local hospital where she had interned while studying.  But within a month, it was clear that all was not well.  A visit to the doctor, followed by a mammogram, confirmed the truth.

She had cancer.

A mastectomy was scheduled and chemo was ordered.  But with a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer, a cure was a longshot.  She did everything she could to beat it.  Prayer after prayer was said by more people than I can count.

We spent a lot of time together that year, visiting places like the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend.  But we also spent much time apart, as she traveled to the Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment.  She even got on an airplane for the first time in her life and flew to Texas to visit a childhood friend.  The time apart was hard on me, as I was very close to my mother.  But it was not as hard as what was to come.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.


5 thoughts on “Ain’t nine fine?

  1. Jane Ann McLachlan says:

    So sorry you went through this. In a wierd way, I was lucky my dad died before I was one. I never knew him, have no memories of him, as my older siblings do, and I’ve envied them that, but I didn’t love and lose him, either. I think it’s easier never to have had a father, than to have loved and lost him as a child. On the other hand, I lost my mother too as an adult, and I wouldn’t give up a minute I had with her. So cherish those memories.
    Jane Ann


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I think it would have been harder to lose a parent at that young an age and have older siblings who remembered them better. I have three much older brothers and an older sister who all have many more memories of our dad than my younger sister and I do. Whether or not they’re better memories, I don’t know, but sometimes I envy them the time they had with him that we didn’t after my mom died (my older siblings are from my dad’s first marriage; my mom was his third wife).

      On the other hand, none of them were really on speaking terms with him when he passed away, and I had never met my oldest brother until our dad’s funeral, so maybe they envy us? I don’t know as the six of us aren’t overly close. Families sure are complicated, aren’t they? 🙂


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