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This blog really isn't designed to be about ME, however I am willing to share my life with you so that you can gain knowledge about living with cancer, the importance of continued research in cancer fighting drugs, and how the FDA's decisions on releasing or pulling a drug from cancer patients can greatly impact many lives. While my cancer is advanced breast cancer, I am fighting for all cancers, and actually life in general. My life has been directly affected by many other cancers as family members, friends and chemo buddies have died from various cancers. Each one of these people have shaped my life and I am fighting to honor their fight, and to continue fighting for all of us touched by this horible disease in some way. Most of all, I'm fighting for the right of my 11 year old daughter to continue having a healthy mother, and for my Husband and Mother to keep them from the pain and torment that comes from seeing a loved one die from cancer. The FIGHT IS ON!! Please join me!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One More Day

Have you ever wished you could have just one more day with someone special that you have lost?  What would you say, where would you go, what would you do? 
My dad is the closest person to me that I lost, and in my mind, he was bigger than life.  It didn't seem possible for him to leave this world. 
As long as I can remember, my dad was always a BIG thinker.  Nothing was to large for him to take on...in fact, the greater the challenge and grander he could make it, the better!   During my elementary school days, I grew up on North Kingshighway just a short walk from Lee Hunter Elementary School where I attended first through fifth grades.  My two sisters, brother and I all walked to school most of the time.  I'll never forget this one particular afternoon walking home from school and seeing what I saw when I got to the corner of North Kingshigway and Hunter.  It was like any other afternoon of my first grade year, but everything changed when I got to that corner.  Glancing over towards my house, I saw huge cranes in my yard, one with a REAL SHINY RED CABOOSE suspended in the air from the cable of the crane.  I can only imagine what my expression may have been, but I know what I felt inside.  My heart swelled up, my mind was happier than a three year old in a candy shop.  Then my little first grade thoughts were..."Wow, my daddy can make anything happen, he can do anything!"
The caboose became a staple of our family and home.  The hours we spent playing in there could not be counted.  That red caboose took us so many places and made for endless hours of entertaining imaginative play.  We climbed all over the inside and out, pretended to drive it, had picnics inside, and even spent the night inside.  I'm not sure how my dad acquired that caboose, I need to find out, but I'm sure when he saw it and knew he had the opportunity to own it, it was a closed deal.  He and I are a lot alike in our spontaneous big thinking.  He probably envisioned that red caboose in his large yard, and thought wow, that would be cool to have in my yard...yeah... he would think...I can do this, just move it to Missouri and have it set right down in my yard!   That was my dad.  Big thinker, nothing impossible... if he could think it, he could do it!  I'm sure at the time he didn't realize that he would be bringing to life the best childhood memories a kid could ever have by bringing that caboose home, but that's exactly what he did!!
So, back to spending one more day with someone.  I would spend mine with my dad.  Maybe take him on an all day train ride sitting beside a window in a train that would have the best ever steak dinners.  I would sit across from him as we would eat the best meal ever, and I would tell him how special he made my life.  I would let him know that he was the greatest man I ever knew and that his influence on me has been the greatest gift ever.  I would laugh as I told him that I thought I had enough of him in me to be a sales person, but that's not possible...no one met up to his skills.  I would hug him and let him know how much I missed his smile and hugs and how much I appreciated that no matter what type of mood he was in or what was on his mind that he was always happy to see or talk to me.  I would have to thank him for teaching us to work, but couldn't leave out the part of how difficult of a boss he was.  In the end, I would never want to let him leave again.  He was the one person that could always make everything alright.  In my mind he COULD do anything!  I'm so proud that he was MY DAD!!
When I came down with cancer at 25, my dad broke out in hives the day I went in for my first surgery.  It absolutely killed him to see me go through that, and at that time, everything was a walk in the park for me.  When cancer struck for the second time, his heart was broken.  I can't even imagine how he would handle things now.  I hope and think he would be proud in my efforts to make things right.  Everything I do has a little something to do with his influence on me.  His presence lives on forever, I see a lot of him in my daughter.
Well, since my father's death, my mother donated that shiny red caboose to the Sikeston Arts Council and it now sits at the depot in downtown Sikeston.  Seeing it gives me a bittersweet feeling.  I'm glad that is has become part of Sikeston's history, but it makes me sad that my daughter and her cousins haven't had the same opportunities as me and my siblings.
A day in ones life can make a huge impact!  What I would do for one more day with my dad!

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