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July Ruminations & Ronnifications

Author's Note: I wrote this blog 1.5 years ago, when I was devastated by the news that my wife, Cindy, had breast cancer. Today, two surgeries and two bouts of chemotherapy and daily radiation later, Cindy is doing great! We celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary on April 4, and, unlike me, Cindy's hair has grown back....just curlier and grayer than before!

Cindy and I have been married for 38.5 years and have raised two wonderful children who are now succeeding in their professional careers. This past week, we learned the devastating news that Cindy has breast cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes; but the full prognosis and exactly what stage she has will be provided sometime in the coming week. My world came tumbling down.

This has made me realize what is important and how much I love and care for my wife. I can no longer take all of the little things for granted. All that she has done for me and our children to support us and help us become better than we were individually can no longer be taken for granted as well. No more jokes about marriage, no more complaints about my wife.

Through the years, if not for her prodding, I wouldn't have found out I am diabetic, that I have too much bad cholesterol (and not enough good) and that I have high blood pressure. And I certainly would not have taken all the medications that were prescribed. But in all the time she was caring for me, she never had a mammography and was always hesitant to go to a gynecologist. I couldn't press the issue because, for all who know my wife, Cindy is her own person with strong beliefs and a stubbornness that exceeds my own. Now, we both know differently. I should have been relentless and she should have been more amenable to my exhortations.

All that I can do now is shed tears for all the regrets that I have and reflect on the life I spent never fully appreciating what my wife meant to me. She stayed in tremendous shape for a 50-something woman, helped me grow our small business and has been by my side at every store I opened throughout our marriage, working full-time herself until about ten years ago.

Now, all these questions come to the fore: Was I sensitive enough? Was I loving enough? Was I attentive to her needs?... But, all I can say is "I am sorry" and reassure my wife that I will be by her side through every painful step of this frightening journey and unknown path. I will block most everything else out from my life except for Cindy, our family and this latest overwhelming journey in our life together. And, I will be more loving than I've ever been.

Thanks for listening.