4/18/2014 0 Comments
My pal Dianne Dalby Haley just posted something on her Facebook wall that reminds me why something as simple as a hug means the world to me.
Back during my late mother's fight against multiple myeloma, one thing we did as soon as she went into remission in 2007 was go through procedures to harvest her good stem cells in case the myeloma came back. (Stem cell transplants with your own cells means a much lower chance of your body rejecting them, as opposed to those from a donor.) It was a good thing we did. Two years later, almost to the day, in 2009, we had to wake Mama's 10 million Little Guys up out of their cryo-sleep and go to war against the recurring cancer with, yes, a transplant.
Incidentally, the day I took Mama home from her grueling two-week transplant ordeal was also a day that left no question that I was, sadly, electronically challenged. While waiting for the hospital valet to bring my car around, I thought I was taking a picture of her but took a video instead. I mean, who does that. LOL!
Having a stem cell transplant means having your immune system shut completely off -- and hoping it restarts -- in order to kill all of the cancer cells in your body. Which also means that anything, no matter how small, can kill you for the duration. Even the sniffles, a common cold, you name it. Which meant a year of wearing masks, avoiding public places, completely sterilizing her surroundings, and NO HUGS from anyone.
I don't think you heard me. After 47 years of hugging my mom practically every day and never being apart, we couldn't hug each other for an entire year. While she was fighting for her life as I watched.
The Obama fist-bump came along at just the right time. We sustained ourselves with that. Boy, was it hard.
That day in November 2008, when Mama's oncologist said, "Okay, ladies... HUG!" and we flew into each other's arms, cannot be described by any words to be found in any language on this planet.
I understand the power of a hug and the things it can do, the strength it can give you to endure what you must just for the promise of getting another one.
If the world had more campaigns like the one below, there wouldn't be as much room for the campaigns that divide us.
Receive this in the spirit it is meant. I know just as well as anyone else that extra caution and skirting the dangers people present are how we survive in this day and age. The problem is, we've gotten so good at keeping evils out of our private physical space that we keep everything else out, too.
I can get a bit testy about my personal space. But this guy... I would have hugged.
Thanks, Di, for deciding to pass this on. :)
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All it took... was one.
That's right, folks.
My daddy is an April Fools' baby. Heheh. As I understand it, the story goes thusly...
Once she realized that the first of April was coming up fast with the last son she would bear due any day, Grandma Mary began to work a little harder around the house and at her job in an attempt to hurry the birth up. Just a little -- nothing that would harm her or the baby, of course. Toting an extra bucket of water here, pushing an extra delivery cart there... The last thing she wanted was Daddy born on that day
But nothing happened.
Until March 31, when delivery pangs hit her hard.
Her first inclination was to run amok in an all-out panic. But no, she thought, there's plenty of time left in the day to get this over and done! So, she set to work, pacing the floor like a trooper and praying for gravity and the good Lord to work in her favor.
I don't know about gravity, but the good Lord had other plans. My daddy came squealing into the world in the wee hours of April 1. The doctor held him up proudly so that grandma could see him, and chuckled. "April Fools, Mrs. Thornton! You have a son."
"Put that fool back in!" my grandma wailed.
True story. LOL!
Happy 80th birthday, Dad. Thanks for being a role model for me, my brothers, and my son every moment of our lives. Thanks for teaching us how to love, how not to hate, and how an honorable man should treat his lady and his children. You weren't perfect, but you did your best. You didn't tell us, you showed us by example.
For that I'll always be grateful.