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It was a cold winter day. The leaves were already off the trees and it was pouring rain. It looked pretty dismal. I am the mother of three boys and one girl, Teresa, One son older then her and two younger brothers, Bobby and Richard. Teresa was married and the mother of Laura Beth, who was four years old and Matthew, who was eight. That cold dismal day was the day our lives all changed. Itís funny how it becomes a domino! Friend and family, everyone who cares and loves their life is never quite the same. Teresa was in the shower and felt a lump. She was going to the doctor that afternoon for results of a biopsy. She was going to call me when she returned. I decided to make the hour and a half trip to be there when she got home, just in case something went wrong, and it did. It was Malignant! My beautiful young daughter had breast cancer! I cannot tell anyone what we were feeling; disbelief, shock, anger, all of the above. But I had to be reassuring for my daughter. I said all the right things, it was caught early, and it was going to be chronic like diabetes, heart disease. She would be fine!! Inside, I was heartsick!! She went to the hospital and had a lumpectomy and the day she came home, that evening, I had a heart attack!! Teresa got in the ambulance with me and there we were both in bed at St Francis hospital!!! Who knew!!!  Do the Day!

I was crossing the street in a town I had never been in before in my life. In another state. I and my family moved in the night before.  Early the next morning, I went out to get coffee and rolls and buns for breakfast. My car was parked on a corner. As I turned toward the back of the car to go into the driverís side, I heard someone call me. It was a gentle sweet voice, that probably only I could hear. A voice said ďGinger.Ē I looked up immediately to see who was calling me, and there was a car, coming right at me! I stepped back as the car swerved in front of me!! Had I not been listening, or been one-step and one second closer, I would have been killed!

I turned to see and thank who was calling me Ė and no one was there, nobody!
Who was that, who had just saved my life!!!  Do the Day!


Now it is fourteen years later. It has invaded Teresaís hip twice, her lung, her bones, her pelvis, and her liver. She is stage IV. In the beginning I would tell her, while waiting for test results, Teresa we are just going to have to hold our breath for a while, until we get the results! So we sat almost paralyzed day after day, waiting for the phone to ring, doing perfunctory things, but, still holding our breath and waiting!! That was so wrong!! What was I thinking!! What sense did that make!!! Supposing the news was good! We wasted all that time waiting!! I, we, made the decision. Those days were over!! We werenít going to wait any more!! We would deal with it, as best we could but we were not going to give it power!! We were going to move on with our lives, in spite of everything and what ever it was, we would deal with at that time, we would deal with good or not so good, or otherwise. We would move past it and just keep moving and from then on, we learned that we didnít possess all the power we thought we had, so we would just think positive and Do the day. Who can tell what and if there will be a tomorrow.

It was a Friday evening, when I left Arizona where I lived part time. My family, Teresa and John her husband, met me at the airport. I was so happy to see Teresa and my grandchildren! I hadnít seen them in six months. It was early in September, a beautiful day, still warm and balmy. We woke up early Saturday morning. It was Labor Day weekend. Everybody had breakfast and then sat by the pool for the rest of the day. Swam and did nothing. A great day with my children and grand children! Later in the day, we had a barbeque with lots of friends and family! It was a perfect day. No one talked about what was coming the following Monday. Cancer had again invaded another part of Teresaís little body. She was scheduled for surgery at Sloan Kettering that Monday morning. Later on during the evening I decided to drive to the Pocono Mountains where I have a home, to gather some clothes together because the weather report said the weather was going to get cold and I needed warmer clothes than I had brought from Arizona. Everybody at Teresaís tried to talk me out of it!! It was late. Was I crazy! I wouldnít get there until midnight and then had to turn around the next morning to go with Teresa to the hospital! No matter what anyone said, I didnít listen; they were talking to s deaf ear. I would be back the next morning and be there to go to Sloan with Teresa! I hugged and kissed everybody and said I would see them in the morning and that I would stop at the bakery on the way back and bring stuff for breakfast. It was a lovely ride home to the Poconos. It was just before the sun was beginning to set and the mountains with the sun setting behind them were spectacular!! It took about an hour and a half to get home and I loved the ride. Once you got into Pennsylvania every thing changed! It was country-winding road, with farmhouses scattered here and there. And big old barns that probably hadnít been used since the turn of the last century! I drove into my circular dirt driveway and could hear the crickets that I hadnít heard in I donít remember when. It was peaceful, quiet, serene, beautiful, secluded, surrounded by beautiful trees, my home in the Pocono Mountains!! That is until I unlocked the door and walked in!!! My peaceful serene life was about to change, again!! The phone was ringing and I was having trouble turning the key to open the door. As I ran to answer the phone I thought, itís probably my kids calling to see if I were home safe and sound. They treated me sometimes like they were the mother and I was the child!! It was not!! It was a call from Arizona. I have many friends in Arizona. I also have two relatives, my son Billy and my brother, with the same name, Bill. On the phone was my friend Lou. His first question - are you alone? I knew something was very wrong!! I said, ď yes I am, so what tell me, what is it??? Whatís wrong?? Tell me please?? Is it my son or my brother?Ē He answered, ďYes, it was my son!Ē My next question was, ď Is he DEAD?? Answer: ďNoĒ. He then handed the phone to a doctor. I will never forget the doctorís words for the rest of my life!! ď Ms Reed, I am so sorry to have to inform you that your son has just suffered a massive heart attack and we really donít think he is going to last the night!! We canít do surgery because he is not stable enough and if he can hold on then maybe there is a slight chance. But it looks very grave.Ē My son!! My first-born!! No, No, it canít be!!! I screamed and screamed and cried and cried, it can be!! Not my son!!! Dear God No!!! My sons and Teresa already knew. The call went there first, thinking I was there!! The door opened while I was on the phone - my neighbors were there to tell me my sons were on their way to the Poconoís to try to comfort me. After that everything was a blur! I was on a plane at 6am on my way back to Arizona and landed at 11:am that Sunday morning!! My friends and brother took me to the hospital directly and there was my son in intensive care hooked up to a ventilator struggling! I could not believe my eyes!! My son!! My son!!! This cant be!! He opened his eyes, he saw me!! He was muttering something!! I could hardly hear him!! I put my ear to his face so I could hear what he was trying to say. He struggled to speak, he said, ď why are you here??? Why arenít you with my little sister?? ď Then his eyes closed!! I sat there and cried! How could I answer that!!! There was NO answer!! I sat there on a chair through the night as doctors and nurses went in and out of his room. As my son was struggling to breathe and struggling to live!! It was ten oíclock the next morning, Monday. My cell phone rang. I burst into uncontrollable tears!! The nurses and doctors rushed into the room to see what was wrong I was hysterical! I could not speak, I could only cry!! On they other end of the phone was my daughter Teresa being wheeled into a very serious intense surgery for cancer. She was calling me to find out how her brother was and to say goodbye Mom, donít worry about me, just take care of Billy!! I had two kids with terminal illnesses at the same time!! Itís not right!! It not fair!! I cried and cried!! The doctors and nurses brought me into a room and they were in and out all day!! Doctors nurses caseworkers; there was no consoling me. I was living their worst nightmare!!! My daughter Teresa and my son Billy were both in surgery, with critical illness at the same time 2800 miles away from each other and I could only be with one!!

I had started my day, sitting at Teresa my daughterís pool in New Jersey; it was a bright sunny day, playing with my grand children!!

After situations like this came in to my life, I finally learned that there is a power greater than we mere mortals, we donít have the power we think we have, what we have maybe, is now¶.
Do the Day!!


Teresaís marriage was going sour. Too many years of fighting this disease took its toll. For whatever the reason, it was time. Unfortunately for Teresa, where was she going to go?? How was she going to support herself? On her chemo days, who would help to take care of her, if she needed help? She also needed help on her off days from chemo.

I could not leave the West coast. Teresa was on the East coast. We decided what would be best for Teresa would be for her to come here. She did. I had a one-bedroom condo that was empty and Teresa decided that she would go there. It was close by my place, so I could be with her. I felt bad for her; she had friends, other family members, support groups, plus her yoga practice and yoga friends. In all of this, she had become a certified yoga instructor. Not only did she go to classes, she gave classes back east.

The situation with her husband was not good and it was just too stressful for her. Especially after being married for twenty-six years. There were times when she cried a lot. I was helpless!! I could help her physically to be more comfortable, but there wasnít much that I could do to help her through this complete change in her life! So her days were different here. She read a lot, when she could concentrate, and she sat by the pool. We shopped. All very quiet relaxing times. It was okay.

One evening, I took Teresa to a yoga class with me. I introduced her to my wonderful young yoga instructor, Frank. Before you knew it, Teresa was helping him with his class. Frank introduced her to some people in the class. One of the people he introduced her to was not able to take his eyes off of her. Time went by class after class, and then yet another, on Super Bowl Sunday. At the end of the class there is a pose called Shavasana; thatís when our yoga blankets go on and we relax, meditate for the last few minutes of the class. I was just getting ready to settle in when Frank motioned to me to turn around. As I turned Frank and I looked at each other and tears welled up in our eyes when we saw this wonderful human being covering Teresa with her blanket. Frank invited both of them and a few other people to his home for dinner. There it was!!

Mr. Wonderful had lost his wife a few years back, after a long illness. He was a devoted husband and father and after his wife passed away, he was very sad, having been married for so many years!! Then he met Teresa!!!

I donít have to worry about my daughter any more!! I know that she is loved and adored by one of the sweetest finest caring men that God has put on this earth!! He takes her to chemo; he takes excellent care of her after chemo and when she is feeling well enough, he takes her traveling!! They cook together they laugh together they love together and they are blessed and very happy. You may think or say, but why Teresa!!! Stage four cancer!!! Why not Teresa!! We donít have contracts and we are all terminal!! All of us!! What we all have however is today so - Do the day!!

You just never really know how that day is going to go!!! Do the day!!


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