Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
On Thursday, Sept. 5, my almost perfect wife, Shirley, and I will celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary. This time last year, or even three months ago, neither of us could have imagined that I might be scheduled for chemotherapy on that day.
The cancer struck silently and swiftly and, if it someday wins the battle , it still never will be able to claim any victory over us. It can’t take away even one second of our more than 55-year love affair, the tender trust we’ve built, and the side-splitting fun that’s lightened our days. It can’t remove one beautiful memory we share of family and friends, music, books and travel.
Though a powerful foe, it faces our family’s combined strength, faith and shared commitment to always love and care for each other.
To those who hope never to hear the diagnosis, “it’s cancer”: someday you might. But that comes with the territory of being alive.
The most precious gift we’re given is a full lifetime and one scary word isn’t going to change all that’s gone before, the marvels we’ve seen and the miracles we’ve experienced. It can’t erase a single fresh spring morning remembered, the warm and lazy summer days of our youth, a frosty Christmas past, or a perfect multi-colored autumn day under a brilliant blue sky. Nor can it weaken at all the support that surrounds us everywhere, embraces us tenderly, holds us tightly and urges us on.
When you can’t change anything else, you can change your attitude about things. So, to quote a well-known song with a much deeper meaning for us now, “Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.”
Our deepest thanks to our adult children, Kate, David, and Greg — they are our fortress; to the thoughtful and helpful folks at FreedomFirst Credit Union; to the skillful and compassionate Dr. Paul Richards of the Blue Ridge Cancer Center, and to all the good people who work there — good at their jobs and good in their hearts.
And to the one who has always held the only key to my heart: happy anniversary, my love.
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