Have you ever had someone make such a giant impact on your life that you would do anything to have them back in it?
Once upon a time, there was a lady nicknamed Granny. She was always well dressed, a bit loud, very funny, quick to see humor in every situation, and would tell you exactly what she thought, sometimes when you wanted to hear it...and sometimes just when you needed to hear it.
Granny and I did not get along too well in the beginning, she is a very strong and outspoken person and I am easily intimidated. In changing accounts at work, when I walked out with our training class, she ran up to us and out of the 20 people standing there, she hugged me while exclaiming how happy she was that we were out of class.
I was taken aback as I am normally a shy person. Over the months that followed, when we were on lunch, she always made me feel welcome at the table. We had a friendly work-relationship for the longest time.
Granny always ran the fundraising for Relay for Life and was always volunteering to help people out. When my dad passed away, she collected money from everyone at work so I would be able to make the trip back home for his funeral.
She always had a way of parting people from their money and getting them to donate their time for good causes. The Relay for Life was always her special project.
It got around work that Becky had found lumps under her arm and would be undergoing chemo asap. In talking to her, she said she planned on continuing to work and as soon as her hair started to go, she was shaving it all off! It was going to be her choice when her and her hair parted ways.
A whisper from her BFF over the weekend saw Granny coming into work on a Monday to see 200 other people wearing a baseball cap.
Granny had her lymph nodes taken out and Ms. Stubborn was sent home a couple of times for being too sick to work when she showed up directly after having her chemo.
Her hair went, her chemo was completed, and her hair regrew....curly! I asked her if her hair was curly before (because I didn't think it was) and she said "Nope! It was when I was little, I got my baby hair back!"
When I adopted my second husband's daughter, I had to have people I know write recommendation letters and Granny got me off of the phone one night (I worked in a call center), and gave me the letter she had written on my behalf. It was a beautiful letter and made me cry. I was astounded when I looked up and saw her eyes filled with tears.
Jokingly, I told her that I now had proof that she liked me and without missing a beat, she said "I lied." We both laughed and cried and hugged.
A few years passed and I heard from Lori that granny was having problems and had to for for a recheck with the cancer doctor. She said Gran wanted to go alone but that she planned on sitting in her car before she left so there would be no choice but to take her with.
It was breast cancer again, but this time it has settled into her bones. They wanted her to take radiation pills, no chemo this time. Our sweet, wonderful, caring, outgoing friend had to go through this again. In her last few weeks at work she had to bring her rascal scooter because she couldn't make it from her desk to the break room. On the way back from break one night...it was me, her, and one of the gamer guys, she caught him checkin' out her 'ride' and asked if he wanted to try it out, lol, she got out of her scooter and let him zip around for a few minutes.
After we got back to our station, she said she had a dream the night before and it was the geeky gamer guys' fault, she said she dreamed that her bloodstream was a pac man game. The pac man was the cancer that was coming along and eating up the pellets that were her good blood cells. We all found the humor in the situation and the gamer that was with us accused her of vampirism because she always felt better after her emergency room trips that ended up in blood transfusions.
I went with a co worker to visit her during one of her increasingly frequent trips to the hospital. It was the first and only time I ever saw Granny crying for herself. She was in so much pain. She was crying for God to take her now.
The pain wasn't so much from the cancer as it was from the radiation pills. Before long, Granny wasn't able to come to work anymore and during my first visit to her home, she said she had decided to stop the radiation therapy. She wanted to be able to enjoy whatever time left that God had given her and be able to be with her friends and family and most importantly, that she was NOT giving up! Hospice got her set up with a good bed in her living room because she couldn't make it back to her bedroom anymore.
We had a few more visits and the conversations ranged from work to a snake that she saw outside her window. She was on some pretty heavy duty pain pills and some of the conversations were a bit hard to follow.
Granny made it to one last Relay for Life event. Bundled up, she stayed out all night and rode the track on her scooter with the other survivors.
She passed away a few days later and was buried next to her husband Paul, the love of her life.
October is breast cancer awareness month, but there is not a month that goes by that I don't think of Granny. There are many, many ideas out there for promoting breast cancer awareness.
One thing that I would like to point out is that breast cancer does not just affect women. Men are at risk as well. In looking for silly pictures to add to my blog, I googled 'breast cancer awareness for men' and let me tell you, the images that came up were just as terrifying. I DID manage to find some things to bring a little laughter into a very serious situation though....because Granny would have found it funny!
You can grope him right back!
Always be aware of the situation!
The more you know...
Not sure why they have them, but they do!
And in closing....
Take yourself out for a nice dinner, maybe give yourself a glass of wine or two, and get yourself to second base!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!