Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ring my bell

When we were newlyweds we moved to a very small town that was 25 minutes away from the military base where Shawn was stationed. After an extensive search of the actual town by the base I swore I would never live there. Something about it being a temporary town. I lovingly still refer to it as the 'armpit of Oklahoma'.

The town where we settled was small, just like I'd always hoped to live in. One main street with one bank, one pharmacy, and one video store. I expected town hall meetings, hoe downs, and camp meetings. Maybe even a barn raising. You know, a Norman Rockwell picture.

I didn't get my picture.

We lived across the street from the county courthouse, half a block from main, and next door to a beautiful old Methodist church. It was idyllic. But something was missing.

I found it one night while out walking our dog. Mark and Debbie. They lived in an adorable house and had the cutest dog. We quickly became friends and they helped us out too many times to count with dog sitting when we went out of town. Shawn took their wedding photos, Debbie took me to basket weaving class, Shawn helped them with their new wood floor. We spent evenings chatting with our dogs.

When we left the military and moved away we promised to stay in touch. But these were the days before Facebook and e-mail. (I can hardly remember those days....) We did Christmas cards for a few years and stopped by once when we went down to spend the day taking the girls to some historical sites. But life just got in the way.

Fast forward to last October. Shawn got a call from Debbie asking about doctors in our area. Mark needed to have an exploratory surgery. I spent a day sitting with her in the surgery waiting room while we waited for him to come out of surgery. We caught up on children, sports, families, and lives. A few days later we found out Mark had to have chemo. With the holidays, and busy lives we didn't talk again (besides blog comments) until she appeared on Facebook. We spent an hour chatting on Easter Sunday and I found out that the next day was a very important appointment. I kind of invited myself along...and went to bed praying.

By the time I got to the clinic they were already in with the doctor. I nervously sat in the waiting room and waited. As I heard Debbie's voice I think I stopped breathing. Her smile let me know the news. NO MORE CHEMO!!

I was invited across the hall to see the bell ringing. What an amazing thing to witness. As I stood there in the room where I'd watched my mom take her chemo treatments only to lose her battle I rejoiced with a friend who had won his.

So, what does a family of four do when the children are getting to skip school, the father is chemo free, and the mom is breathing again? They take their fifth wheel and head to the local science museum.

First they teeter-tottered. Or see-sawed. Which is the correct term?
Then we saw a cloud makerand a tornado.We also watched an interesting weather forecast. That's what happens when you wear a blue jacket to the studio:)And then I saw it...a simulated tornado. Well, the winds anyway. I cried tears of pure hilarity while I watched the girls get in and saw their hair fly and their clothes flap.Then Mark got in. I think maybe his moustache flapped a little.

After a celebratory lunch at a wonderful BBQ place I said my goodbyes and headed home. We had talked about when we'd get together again. Maybe just the moms, or the couples, or all nine of us. I'm just hoping it's for pure fun. No more surgeries. No more chemo.

Do you hear that Mark and Debbie????


Robin said...

That is awesome news. High Five!!

Cozyflier said...

Congrats to Mark. Now all the texting makes more sense!! Great tribute. Hugs!