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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thinking of Therese Tomorrow

It's been weeks of celebrations.
Weeks of fun.
Weeks of vacations.

Unfortunately, during all that, reality hit.

About three weeks ago I received a message before school on my cell phone from Therese.
Usually her messages are light.
Usually her messages make me feel good.
She's one of my favorite friends to hear from.
Unfortunately, on this particular morning she called to let me know she has 
breast cancer 
and she had wanted to tell me, but had to wait for more information before telling her kids.
She told them the night before she called me.

I was shocked.

When I heard her start crying I was

She was still going through tests and didn't know what was to come yet.

 A few days later she had the MRI that (we thought) would give us the information.

I showed up that night with a bottle of wine, chocolates, cookies and stories to make everyone laugh
 (the last wasn't planned).  But it worked.
We hugged.  
We didn't cry.

Until I drove home, at least.

We had to wait a week.  And we did.
6 days later she was given 'good' news.  It was a herm a.... something.
Great news.  Not cancer.  Just a tumor.  Let's get it out.

Christmas happened and she hosted FIFTY and was thrilled.

Less than one week later she met with the surgeon to find out -
we're sorry, that information was a mistake.

herma... (whatever its called - I'm too mad at it too look it up)
 are only found in organs not tissues.

Your's is growing extensively each week.  You'll be having surgery in one week.

One week is tomorrow.

The woman who's been more of a mother to me than the woman who gave birth to me 
will be having surgery tomorrow.

As if that's not scary enough, we still need to wait for more tests.  
Life changing.

When we had to good news I emailed:

I've always known I loved you, I just didn't know how much 'til this week.

I'm afraid of the trials she is to face.
I'm sad and scared for her family.

I think of her mom, who I love, (who's almost 90) worried about her daughter.
I think of her daughter who loves her dearly and looks to her each day.
I think of her teenage son who will forever remember this year.
I think of her husband who's depended on this woman for the last 25 years.
I think of her sisters.
I think of all the people she's touched.

That's a lot of people.

I think of how she's touched my life.
I met her when I was 18 years old.
I was in high school.  I felt lucky just to babysit in her gorgeous house and take care of the most wonderful children I had ever met.
I dreamt of, one day living a life, somewhat as perfect as hers.
She taught me to be a thoughtful friend as she left me a daily present as she did her children the week I watched them while they were on a cruise.
She taught me how to be a loving and caring wife 
- as Mark and I lived there to nanny the couple years before we married.
Most importantly, she taught me how to be the kind of mother I never thought I could be.
She has been my role model.
I've thought of her 100's of times in the last six years.
What would Therese do? 
When I don't do right, I reflect and change.
What would Therese do?

She's taught me true patience.
She's taught me true love.
She's taught me to set my kids up for a positive start to their day.
She's taught me to always make time for my children - no matter what.
She's taught me time away from my children isn't a bad thing.
She's taught me to let them clean up their own messes.
She's taught me to read to them anytime they'd listen.
She's taught me to let them cook.
She's taught me to my son be wild because that's the way boys are.
She's taught me to treat my daughter like a little princess.
She's taught me to brush their teeth (really good) every night.
She's taught me to scrub out wounds so they don't get infected
 (well.... she TRIED to teach me that but I haven't yet mastered it - it's gross (but no infections either)).

She's not perfect.  But she's damn close in my book.  

Tomorrow she's going to have surgery and I'm going to school as if everything's ok.
But it's not.
It's scary.
It's sad.
I hate it.

Every time I get bad news I get so angry.

Of all people - why her?! 

I'm looking forward to receiving a message from Terry telling me everything went well and she's resting.
Then after school I'll bring the family the Spaghetti Bake I made them tonight.

Hopefully that's the way tomorrow will go.

Hopefully, we'll get real good news soon.

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