1. My 50th Birthday, a special time

Almost everyone was there. It was a very special time for me. The specialness of that day would greatly increase in the months ahead. That was our last family gathering before disaster struck.

Because we have no crystal balls, because the future is unknown to us, because our lives can change in the ‘blink of an eye’, it is always important to never pass up the opportunity to share special moments with those we love.

My husband, Rick, had been planning my party for some time. Both my parents were there. Our daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Adam, drove from Dallas. Our son, Jonathan, was there. He may have been staying at home for a while before the fall semester at college began. I can’t remember. My youngest sister, Darla, and her husband, Joe, along with their children came as well. It was so nice to have everyone there. They made me feel like I was a queen that day.

My 50th birthday was on Sunday, August 25, 2002. Everyone was there in time for church. So we attended the worship service and then went out to eat. After lunch we all came back to the house for birthday cake and gifts. My birthday cake had, not 50 candles, but two large candles, one candle was the number ‘5′ and the other one was a ‘0′ on top. I sat at our dining table while the cake with the lighted ‘50′ was brought to me. I remember with a chuckle how I wanted to scream, run away,……do something, I wasn’t sure what, as that seemingly huge 50 came towards me. I had been struggling with the ‘turning 50′ idea.

I knew that Daddy wasn’t feeling well that day. He seemed to always be battling some illness or condition. But that day, I wasn’t sure what was wrong. I really did appreciate him being there , even though he was sick.

The real puzzle of the day, however, was Mother. I observed that her right breast was noticeably larger than her left. It also appeared to be shaped all wrong. I really don’t know how to describe it. I just know something wasn’t right. My immediate thought was, “Either Mother is wearing her bra wrong, or there is a major problem.” I decided not to talk to Mother about my concerns on that day. Why?

Well, you would just have to know my parents. That is tomorrow’s post.

As I write about my experiences and share my ‘lessons learned’, please feel free to comment, ask questions, share your experiences with family illness. We can learn from each other and encourage each other through this blog.


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