On February 22, 1979, my
life changed forever.
That was as far as she
always got. Maybe a few sentences further each attempt, but the effort always
ended in the same fruitless result. She always aspired to be a writer but
things never materialized. Robbie Elizabeth, as my grandparents named her in
February of 1935, was the second oldest among four children. I just knew her as
That fateful date she
continually referenced provided a memory that affected more than just her life.
It changed mine, my sisters Deborah and Karen and most certainly my Dad’s –
Bobby, Sr., as well as our entire family Momma was diagnosed with an aggressive
growth that began as ovarian cancer. By the time the physicians performed a
“look-and-see” operation, the growth had swollen to the size of a football.
The doctors basically gave
Momma a month or two to live, tops. Of course, they didn’t know her resolve to
succeed against all odds. They certainly didn’t understand her mission from
God. Her assignment was to touch as many lives as she could in the short time
she had left. Momma’s illness came at a time when cancer research and
treatments were in the formative stage and essentially rocket science to the
medical community. In those days, you just didn’t beat the disease.