Before I continue writing, I need to explain that thru this all, I know the importance of the family. Unfortunately, not all my family lives near me as my older brother lives in Washington DC, only one of my nephews live near me, my folks and the majority of my in-laws live down by the border in South Texas.
I was released from the hospital after getting three procedures done over the week which I will get into more detail in my other blogs. My son drove down from North Carolina so I can spend time with the youngest in the family, Emilie, or as she likes to call herself, “M”. She is the one sitting on her daddy’s lap and her mama, my only daughter in law, is sitting at the end of the photo. She is turning 2 soon so the kids decided to throw a quick last minute birthday party for her. I decided to take a quick photo before they left the next day.
I am holding my two older grandkids, Eva and Calvin, who are currently living with us. There mom is directly behind me and is in a fire academy; training to become a firewoman. My baby girl is sitting between her big brother and big sister. I love my daughters very much. They mean the world to me and I would do anything for them. My babygirl is learning how to drive which scares me a bit, going to be honest about that, but I know that one day she will grow into her own.
The person who always makes everything possible is standing behind me, my wife, Maria. She was the one who informed me about not including the family and I told her I didn’t, I just needed some time to include them. So here we are! She has been a great sounding board throughout my life and I am fortunate that she is with me. We have had our differences and sometimes it results in unpleasant results. But at the end of the day, I love her with all my heart and soul. I don’t think I can make this without her; I can but it would be very very difficult. For that, I am eternally grateful for her being with me through out this process.
Behind her are my mother and father in laws. I really appreciate all they have done for us throughout the years. I joke that my father in law is my ranch hand, and I even told my neighbors that if they needed any work done on their yards, he is a very hard worker. I show him his resume, my own yard and the work he has done. My mother in law is a great cook and loving mom. I love to see her cook in the kitchen and take mental notes and try to repeat her style. Maybe one day, they will move in and set up shop here at the hacienda.
Truth is this, if you are going to go thru chemo/radiation, you need a very strong support system. I loss a cousin to leukemia but what I saw was that my aunts and uncles all got together to support her. I know it was rough and I know that my treatment is going to be difficult as well. I know this because my doctors told me so. But, family is a way to cope with the stress of going thru the cancer treatment process. The joy and laughter of little ones, the political discussions of the next generations, the poking fun of one another or just getting together burning some meat on the grill celebrating a 2 year old’s birthday are all things that a family can do to bring a sense of ease into what is otherwise a very difficult road to recovery.