I’ve never concerned myself much with mammograms. Having very dense breast tissue, mine always come back “inconclusive.” So, putting one off six months until it was more convenient in the summer wasn’t even given a second thought. I even cancelled and rescheduled in June.
My sisters and I had gone to my mom’s for a week. Mel and Callie had flown out for a few days. We took a four generation picture and put it in the paper for Mom’s 75th birthday. An 8x10 hangs in Callie’s room.
The day Mel flew home, Jay called. Penrad had left a message. They wanted a diagnostic mammogram, which simply put means more pain than you can imagine. That took two weeks to schedule. They gave us the results there. They wanted two biopsies. Now we were bearing down on the start of school.
Angie, Mel's mother-in-law, had told Mel over July 4th that her cancer was stage 4 and to prepare herself. We decided not to tell the children. Mel had enough to worry about. In fact, we only told those we felt like we had to, and Joy and Shane only days before the biopsy. We missed the first morning of school, a Tuesday, and made arrangements for me to return early from senior retreat to go in for results the following week.
On Wednesday Mel called. Angie’s cancer was back. They gave her 4 weeks to 3 months, maybe. How could that be? She seemed fine, except for her eyes weren’t blinking as they should.
Thursday afternoon my cell vibrated in my pocket. Stepping into the hall, I took the call. My results were in: They were negative. It seemed surreal. “Are you sure?” I questioned.
We were leaving for retreat on Sunday, and Friday was a nightmare. One issue after another, the day dragged on. Later that evening while undressing for bed, I thought, “I’m so glad this day is over!” Immediately, my thoughts flew to Angie preparing for bed in Arkansas. Was she gazing into the mirror and sighing, “One of my days is over”?
Then came the epiphany: No day is so dismal to be wished away; no day so bleak we cannot find joy—
Each day that comes to a close in which we find ourselves still living is a day to be grateful for. For me, every day now is a good day. I don’t think I will ever again look at a day as simply a day—at least I hope I don’t.
Each day that we live and breathe and can reach down and touch the faces of little ones or gaze up into the eyes of those we love—that is a day to cherish—
--a very fine day, indeed.
Wishing you fine days…