My three sisters were at work, but they wanted and needed to know the results. I called them with the pathology results, since I don’t usually see them on weeknights. Mary worked close by and made it there within a short time. I laugh now when I think about what she said to me as she sat around the table with my mother, my mother-in-law, and myself. “Just give me some time, and then…” The just of her unfinished sentence, as she gestured with her hand, was that she would be strong for me once she could grasp what was happening. My oldest sister, Lisa, soon arrived, since she had already finished work, and was driving home when she heard.
I’m sorry to say so much is a blur. Bits and pieces come to mind, and they are not even in chronological order. Asking my family what they remember about that day was futile, as they too were at a loss. My sister, Mary, did say that she remembered that, once the pathology results were revealed, things moved pretty quickly. Ironically for me, it was grueling and seemingly endless.
Susy, only thirteen months older than me, stayed at work for quite awhile because she was not able to drive home after I gave her the news. I had told her not to panic. Of course, she did, and from being overemotional, passed the telephone to her colleague. Susy doesn’t handle serious or emergency situations very well. After I asked her colleague to put Susy back on the line, I said, “Don’t worry, they will operate and remove it.” When she was finally able to drive to my parents’ house, she first stopped by the local church to pray.
Lisa’s children, Claudia and Ricky, were old enough to understand the gravity of my illness. Claudia was with her now-husband when her mom called her. She was at his house crying for about an hour, then headed straight for my parents’ house later that afternoon, where we were all still sitting around the table. She also picked up a rosary at Notre-Dame Basilica, one day after her university class, and had it blessed for me. Ricky remembers the street corner he was on, waiting for the bus after school – he was in senior high. They were heartbroken.
Keep in mind, you are reading only my second draft, and often, I revise my posts for the memoir. Sometimes I remember more, reword parts of it, or move sections, so if you ever get to see a book published, it will be somewhat different. The story will be the same, of course, no embellishments or lies, just more details.
Thank you to all of you who’ve given me feedback and encouragement. That alone is inspiring. I do receive phone calls from close family and friends that are learning new information from my blog. Sorry for that!