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The Year of Guinness

I finally did it. After working for seventeen years as an exterminator, I quit my job in order to pursue my dream. I’m currently writing the sequel to The Year of Guinness.

Bill’s Glasses


There was one pair of gray glasses left at the front desk and the elderly lady gave them to me. The community center was closing for the day. The woman slipped into her red cardigan and threw her basket weaved purse over her shoulder.
“The height of the eclipse is to take place around three on Monday. Take time to stop to witness it, Sherry. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event” She said as we walked out the front door. She locked the building and turned to me. “If you can share the glasses, please do. They are completely sold out in our area and it’s too late to order them online.” She explained.
“I will make sure to be in the presence of a few other people Thank you very much.” I said, and I leaned in to give her a gentle hug.
It was Friday afternoon. I had the weekend to think about who I wanted to share my glasses with. I weighed my options and it didn’t take long for me to decide where I wanted to be. I’d go to the Oncology office. The parking lot was always full, and patients were continuously going in and out. I wanted to be with my people. I’m not employed there, I’m a patient. The plan would be to break away from my job as an exterminator and be at the entrance of the oncology office by 2:45. I tucked the glasses in my glove box and smiled.

Monday morning was cloudy. We wouldn’t be able to see the eclipse without a clear sky. I sent up a prayer and headed into work. I’d watch the sky and keep my eyes on the clock. Over the next few hours, the clouds parted and revealed a beautiful blue sky.

I found a parking space in the furthest row from the building. The sky was changing rapidly. Patients were scattered across the parking lot, most of them were shielding their eyes from sky. I ran to the entrance with the glasses in my hand.

A Chevy Blazer had pulled as close to the front door as possible. The driver, a wiry man with black hair and a bushy beard stepped out of the vehicle. He quickly entered the building to help another man.

“I got ya Bill, take it slow. “He said as he braced the thin man around the waist.

As Bill took tiny steps, I observed the bruising on his forearms. His fingernails were brittle and a pale shade of blue. I knew he was very ill. I wanted to share my glasses with him, but I knew in my heart, he had to get in that truck and go home. He could probably care less about the solar eclipse.

As the moon overtook a portion of the sun, I heard a noise. It sounded like a nickel or a quarter hit the pavement. I turned my head to the Chevy.

“Danny, my wedding band fell off.” Bill said using all his breath. The two men stopped on the sidewalk. I watched the wedding band roll and land directly beneath the vehicle. I didn’t say a word as I approached Bill and Danny. I braced Bill’s other side and gave Danny a look. I wanted him to know he could collect the ring. I would hold Bill. A woman came to our rescue with a wheelchair and we lowered Bill into the seat.
“Lost the wife years ago, I need my ring.” He huffed.
“Bill, do you want to witness the solar eclipse?” I asked.
His ice blue eyes were revealed beneath his heavy lids and he nodded yes. I placed the glasses on his face and he turned directly towards the sun. He let out a shallow sigh. Danny had joined us with the wedding band in his hand. The wheelchair was facing the sun as Danny and I turned our backs and looked at the ground.
“They say he doesn’t have much longer. Small-cell lung cancer. He’s my brother.” He said in a whisper. I placed my hand on his back and remained silent. We listened to Bill wheeze as he delighted in the view of the solar eclipse.
“You didn’t want to see it for yourself?” Craig asked.
“This is exactly what I wanted to see.” I smiled and squeezed Danny’s shoulder. I heard him choke back tears as he wiped his eyes.

We turned around to see Bill sitting still in the wheelchair with folded hands. His wide toothless smile gave me peace.


The Silent Killer: Cancer

I have a love hate relationship with my Facebook memories. They remind me of how precious live really is. I woke this morning to find a precious picture of my daughter and I the day she graduated AIT. I was so proud of her that day.

The dark reality of this photo is, I had cancer and none of us knew it at the time. The doctors suspect it started growing four years prior to this beautiful moment captured in this photograph. The horrific blow would be dealt to me just three years later and I’d have to learn how to play the hand I was dealt.

I fight for life. I fight for the love of my family and friends. I fight each day to speak out and keep all of you on your toes. I fight to reach out to the hurting, the living and those dying from cancer. I silently scream out through these typed words, “You can do this! Keep fighting! If you are near the end, please know that your journey has impacted so many lives!”

Rocks For Cancer Patients

The project began about four months ago and I don’t foresee an end in sight. The blue wire basket sits on the table by the pharmaceutical window at the cancer center. It holds painted rocks with inspirational saying written on them in paint pens. Some rocks have hearts and flowers drawn on them because I don’t claim to be an artist. 

The basket has never been full. It stands 24″ tall and to give you a better idea, it could probably hold 12 loaves of French bread. It’s a beautiful thing to all of the colors combined in one place. The basket is inviting and screams in a whisper, “Choose one!”

I visit the cancer center two times a week to drop off rocks. I try to keep enough there to supply all of the chemo patients who’d like to have one. I’ve been informed that they hold them during treatment. Some folks have cried and claimed that they believe that one particular rock had to have been made just for them. 

I will be dropping off rocks this Friday but I’ll also be there as a patient. It’s my two year check up. Yes, four days from now is my Cancerversary. The doctor will take blood and examine my body to check for any new changes. I’m aware that my cancer could spread as it had made it’s way to one of my central lymph nodes but I’m not worried. I’ll never be scared of this disease. I’m going to do my best with the rest of my life.

They called me white trash

Hello friends! I’m still trying to navigate my way around WordPress. I’m happy to be here! My purpose for blogging is to lift others through my writing. I’ve been called “white trash” more times then I care to tell you but what those folks didn’t know was that I was taking notes. In other words, through my life experiences, I was gaining knowledge. They were enabling me to become an overcomer. I got TOUGH. Yes, I have junk in my trunk but I’m about to bring it all together into a book and show anyone willing to read, how we can overcome! By the way, I have no boobs. I lost them two years ago to cancer but who cares? I’m still alive!

#breastcancersurvivor #optimist