Country Roads

Last week was not a good week for me and my family. Monday, I got the biopsy results back on my cat, Samantha. A tumor found under her tongue during an otherwise routine dental cleaning turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma. At the time, I knew nothing about the feline version of this cancer, but two days of Internet research left me feeling drained and saddened. My vet thinks he got it all. So does the lab. I’m holding onto that hope because apparently it’s about all Sammie and I have. The prognosis is not good otherwise. I’m having a hard time grasping all this. She’s so pleasantly plump and shiny, how can she be that sick?

By Wednesday I was getting a grip on my emotions, partly by allowing myself to be in a bit of denial. I kept chanting, “he got it all, he got it all.” We go back next week for a follow up exam.

Then Wednesday night my phone rang.

My sweet cousin, Flora Lee, who has been battling cancer of one type or another for well over twenty years and specifically breast cancer in recent years, passed away.

Again, I’m having a hard time grasping it. Flora Lee was a bright light. During her funeral services on Saturday, the minister mentioned her smile, always present, no matter what. Everyone in the room nodded through their tears. Not only did she always have a smile on her beautiful face, she always managed to make everyone around her smile, too. Even at the funeral. She had chosen her music for the services and the final song was John Denver’s “Country Roads.” Flora Lee and most of my family were born and raised in West Virginia and she loved her home state. Most of us sang along. She would have expected that. After the song, her younger sister stood up and said that she was up there, looking down and saying “Y’all done real good.” I could hear her.

So another week is getting under way. I need to get over the grief and get back to my writing. My novels take place in West Virginia. I’ve sometimes wondered if that was the right thing to do. Does anyone out there really want to read about this state? Now I know I don’t dare move the story anywhere else.

And if anyone has any spare cash this holiday season, consider making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We need to lick this disease. And now.


Kristine said…
Annette, I'm so sorry to hear about Sammie and your cousin. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope Sammie's follow-up exam goes well.

I've always found my writing to be a wonderful way to work through grief and emotions, as well as the place I can go in my mind when I need to escape reality for a bit and live in a world where I can control what happens.

Hang in there. ((big hugs))
Joyce said…
I'm sorry, too, Annette. I lost a cat in May that I had for almost 10 years. She went out one day and never came back.

I've found that I do my best writing when I'm down. If I'm happy, it's harder to write. I think I need a good bout of depression to get this book done...

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