Day One Hundred Sixty Three: June 11
Once upon a time, I was a professional writer. I wrote for officials at the very highest levels of the Department of Defense. My boss counted on me to get the words just right, to have the right tone, to have the right sense of place. I wrote for occasions joyous and sorrowful. I wrote my boss’s remarks at the posthumous Navy Cross presentations to Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, United States Marine Corps. On April 9, 2008 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, these two Marines jumped in front of a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden dump truck that he intended to crash through a security checkpoint where 50 U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces stood watch. They stopped the bomber, but as he breathed his last, he detonated his dump truck full of explosives. The Marines saved the lives of 50 people at the expense of their own. I remember writing words for that occasion, knowing I had to get it just right, but knowing the boss counted on me to find the right thing to say. His trust in me matched the responsibility he had given me.
I’m still looking for my own words to describe today. Doctors discovered a…well, a something, a growth, a mass, a tumor, a lesion, who knows what to call it, in my mom’s pancreas. There are a lot of words flying around right now, words like radiation, chemotherapy, malignant, benign, and so many more. I don’t really have any words tonight.
This post is really not about me. It’s really about my mom. There are yet more words on the other side of the equation: resistance, stamina, endurance, resilience. My mother is an incredible, amazing woman. This is just one more hurdle. Nevertheless, if you’re the praying type, some of those kind of words could sure be helpful right now.