Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Very Humbling Experience for Me

Here is a picture of all the squares that I managed to make in the days that I had the "Magical Hook". I call it this because it truly was a magical experience for me. I need to give you a little background so you will understand better. You see, I wanted to be a part of this not only for all the special people in my life who I have lost to cancer, but also to celebrate all the lives of those in my life who have fought the battle and WON! Let me explain who my squares are for and share with you all the beautiful "Ah Ha" moment that happened to me.

This peach square on the bottom is for my dear mother-in-law, Sarah. She was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer back in 1990. It was in the early stages and caught in time that a hysterectomy saved her life and gave us many more years with her.

The 2 periwinkle squares are for two wonderful men that were in my life and lost theirs to Esophageal Cancer. The one on the left is for my "almost" brother-in-law, John. And the one on the right is for a very special friend I had who went by the name of Hop. You know how sometimes you meet someone who just "gets" you? That was Hop! He never judged me...well almost never. He always listened and just genuinely cared. He has been gone 2 years now and I miss him more than I thought I ever would.

These 2 dark blue ones represent Colon Cancer. The one on the left is for a woman I know who is battling the disease at the present time. Her name is Flo and she is one of the strongest women that I know. If anyone can beat this, she can!

The square on the right is for my Uncle Dick who wasn't able to beat this one.

These 3 pink squares stand for Breast Cancer. My cousin Judy (Uncle Dick's daughter) was diagnosed 3 years ago. She had surgery, underwent radiation, and got the all clear! Woo Hoo!

My friend Allene, also was diagnosed. Her surgery was more radical but she always stayed positive and had a smile on her face. She was even proud of her "bird" hair when it started to grow back! Now the cancer has spread to her stomach. Please keep her in your prayers.

The 3rd. one is for my friend Audrey. She beat the disease years ago and has gone on to live a wonderful life enjoying her husband and children.

And these last 3 squares are the most special to me. The orange represents Leukemia. The one with the heart is for my mother-in-law Sarah. While she beat the first cancer, she couldn't beat this one. She was my heart! I would give anything for one more day with her. She fought long and hard and I know that she is reaping her reward in Heaven now! I love you and miss you Mom!

The one next to hers is for my Aunt Lou. She was diagnosed before Sarah and she is doing well. The cancer is in remission and even tho I don't see her very often, I always enjoy the times that I do. She worked as a nurse until the age of 70!

The orange square at the top of this picture is for my Uncle Ray. He is actually my husbands Uncle, just as Aunt Lou is really my husbands Aunt. When I first met Uncle Ray and his wife, Aunt Lorraine some 23 years ago ~ they instantly became my favorite. I know we aren't supposed to have favorites know sometimes you just can't help it! Uncle Ray and Aunt Lorraine were married for 63 years. Can you imagine! They were best friends and went everywhere together. They raised a beautiful, loving family and watched grandchildren grow up and have children of their own. In fact their youngest grand daughter is expecting twins in May of this year! Right around Thanksgiving Uncle Ray fell in his garage...on a ladder, if you can believe...the man was 88, and broke his hip. He had surgery and was able to go home 2 weeks before Christmas. On Christmas he went back to the hospital because he just was not feeling good and was weak as a kitten. Thru different tests the doctors diagnosed him as having end stages of leukemia. They sent Uncle Ray home to die. My husband and I did not know this when we called to see how he was doing. We certainly didn't expect this announcement of leukemia and end of his life nearing! It was at this time that Jimbo's hook appears!

As all of you probably know, the hooks' arrival at my home was delayed due to JoBug falling ill and scaring the daylights out of her entire family! This, I believe with all my heart, was part of the bigger plan. I got the hook on a Monday. You see, besides working full time as a secretary for a Construction Management Company, I also work 3 nights a week cleaning the offices where I work. Mondays and Tuesdays are 2 of those nights. Due to my schedule, we arranged to visit Uncle Ray on Wednesday. Aunt Lorraine felt it would be ok to visit as long as it was a short one. I already had made this square for Uncle Ray. In fact, it was the very first one that I made with the "Magical" hook!

I did not expect to see the Uncle Ray that I seen when we arrived on Wednesday. It was obvious that the end was very close. I sat and held his hand for a while. I silently prayed for him. I enjoyed the closeness that I was sharing with him. He managed to open his eyes and he said to me, "Debbie, I'm dying". It about broke my heart. I told him that it was ok, we all were. He fell asleep and we stayed for awhile and visited with the rest of his family that was there.

On friday morning, January 11, 2008, Uncle Ray died. He was at home. His wife of 63 years beside him. He was a shining star in my life and now I know he is a shining star in heaven! He is up there playing pinochle and patiently waiting for his beautiful bride, Lorraine. sum it all up...The hook was never LATE at arriving in my hands. It came at the exact time that it was supposed to! I love you Uncle Ray!!!

Thank you to all who have hung with my very long explanation of the squares. And a huge thank you to Angelfire for organizing this whole thing. And last, but certainly not least, a HUGE thanks to Jimbo. For it is with the Magician that the Magic lies!


kittyloverdeb said...

Oops! Forgot to sign this!

Signed a very humbled:

KathyWho said...

His timing is perfect for all those who wait. I so enjoyed looking at your squares and reading your post. I am sorry that cancer has touched your life so drastically so thank you for sharing your experience with us.


Joyce said...

Deb, your story is beautiful, as are your squares. I was particularly moved by your "ahha" moment. Like Kathywho, I'm sorry that cancer has touched your life so drastically, it can just be devastating. I'm so pleased to be a part of this effort with each entry I read.


vonnie said...

Great squares, I loved reading your stories.....very touching. Thanks so much for sharing.

angelfire said...

Deb, that was inspirational. I am glad that the hook arrived t o you when it did, your "ah HA moment was meant to be and the love and concerns of every recepient is still traveling with the hook, now your ah ha moment will be a large part of it.

Sandy said...

I enjoyed reading the story of your family. They sound quite special and close. You've lost some and for that, I'm sorry; but I love the warmth that you have in your memories of them.

I was doing some blog walking today, over from 25 Things for Charity.

At the risk of sounding dumb...the members on this page, are they all making squares separtely, putting together ghans in memory of their loved ones, and then sending them somewhere? ARe they makeing squares and someone else puts them together? I'm not clear, so hope you don't mind my questions.

It would be a magical world I think if someone could truly say they've not been touched by cancer in some form. Sadly, we've all lost friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.

I'm not sure I understand the magic hook, who sent you the hook etc. But, am interesting in learning more about the group.


Welcome mats always out, please pop in for a visit.

Joyce said...


Check out this link

kittyloverdeb said...

Thank you Joyce for posting the link...I was getting ready to go into a lengthy explanation!