I do not like this at all. I am having to use Firefox right now, because Internet Explorer is giving me a major headache. And I don’t like the way my page looks on Firefox.
We survived day 4. One more day. I believe VBS is very important, but I am so glad when it is over. It is so exhausting. But hopefully we are changing some little lives by teaching all this music, all these Bible stories, and making all these crafts.
We have had some children in years past, whose lives are not like they should be. Several years ago, during my music class, one little boy was hitting this little girl next to him every time she made him mad. That was often. We told him repeatedly to stop and he would not listen. Finally, I stopped and said, “You can’t just hit someone when they make you mad. Does your Daddy hit your Mommy every time they have an argument?” I meant it as a rhetorical question….I expected the answer to be no. He said, in all seriousness….”Yes.” The teacher and I just looked at each other with our mouths open, not knowing exactly what to say. Hopefully we can make a difference in the lives of little boys like that.
I got an email from my aunt, Krista, today, completely explaining my uncle’s brain tumor and what’s going to happen. It made me cry. I didn’t cry yesterday when I found out about it, but I did reading the email.
Bubba (Roy) had an MRI back in June when the doctor decided he needed surgery on his sinuses. But the tumor was so small then, they didn’t catch it. Now at the end of July, it is quite large. It is a type that grows extremely fast, and it is extremely rare. His daughter, Debbie, and her husband Matt, were meeting him at the hospital last week for the surgery, Matt was to be his anesthesiologist during the surgery. Just before the surgery, Bubba did not recognize them, and then apparently had a seizure. That was the first they knew there was anything wrong in his brain. They stopped the surgery, and did another MRI, and found a huge tumor.
The tumor affects his speech….he can mostly understand things you say to him, but he can’t always answer you. He now is having trouble remembering the names of his 3 daughters. He knows they are his daughters, but he can’t recall their names. Their mother died of cancer a little over 10 years ago.
If the doctors do nothing, they give him about 3 months. If he has chemo and radiation, they give him 6 months. If they do surgery – the doctor believes he could remove most of it – there is a possibility of him not knowing anything, and being completely dependent on his family.
He has chosen to do nothing. He has decided the extra 3 months he might get from chemo and radiation would not be worth it. And there is no question he does not want to burden his daughters by having the surgery and then being an invalid. He is 73 years old. He told Krista, “It is the beginning of the end for me, but it’s alright because I’ve lived ‘a hell of a life’.” He has not been a typical 73 year old. He has a motorcycle and has traveled the country on that. He said he still would be if it were not for this “sinus infection” he could not shake. He has been an insurance salesman, a trucker and a crop duster. Quite an odd assortment of jobs. When he was a trucker, he was once snowed in, in a blizzard in the north (I think it was Montana), and nobody knew where he was for days.
His life has had its ups and quite a few downs. Due to some family problems, he became an alcoholic when he was about 30. There were times he was so drunk, he had to be literally carried home the next afternoon, after a night of drinking. I can remember it all, eventhough I was elementary school aged then. I remember him crying one day, as he was being carried into my grandmother’s house (they lived with her then) and saying he did not want his mother to see him like that.
Bubba played the trombone in the Houston Symphony after he attended the University of Houston. Our cousin plays trombone in the Toronto Symphony, and went to the Julliard School in New York. My mom played the oboe in the school band and their sister, Krista, played piano in choir. We are a musical family. Bubba is the one that first realized I had perfect pitch.
Bubba was a Green Beret, and once broke his ankle while parachuting out of a perfectly good airplane. He walked on it for about 3 weeks before they realized it was actually broken.
When I was little, I adored my uncle. I loved to go to their house. We would spend the night and his wife would cook spaghetti. She was Italian. Then we would dance for hours to Beach Boys music.
When I was junior high aged, they moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where his wife, Camille, was from. We did not see them very often then. It’s been almost 12 years since I have seen him. We stopped at his house on a trip to Fort Walton, Florida. I would love to go see him now, but he wouldn’t know me. He won’t even know his own daughters soon.
I may be back shortly, with some pictures. Steve is working on the slide show for tomorrow night’s family night.