Hanks: When you lose someone you love | TheFencePost.com

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Hanks: When you lose someone you love

Gentle readers, I would betcha' that most all of you are familiar with the term, "cowboy up!" If you are not, it simply means to "step up to the plate" and "get'er done". You get my meaning I'm sure.

Some fifteen years ago my wife, her mother and I all had been diagnosed of cancer. My wife had rectal-colon cancer, her mother had liver cancer and I had prostate cancer.

"GREAT SCOTT BATMAN!" How do we deal with all of this tossed in our lap in one fell swoop?

To say there was an onset of panic in some degree would be an understatement. Children, we were all overwhelmed to say the least.

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My mother in law, at 80 years of age more or less, took the news and went to bed in a nursing home to live out the eight-month sentence she had been given. Martha and I to began the fight to survive.

My cancer had been detected early and since there was but a small tumor, I had every intention to live for a long time if possible. But Martha's was very serious and her chances were slim at best to live more than a year or so.

You may not know it my friend but I believe that we all have the ability to "cowboy up" and do whatever we have to do in times like these.

I didn't think so at the time as I was basically our caregiver. Her mother was in a nursing home but still needed a lot of attention from Martha and I and there were those days that we were so tired and listless from all the radiation that we had been talking about how we just wanted to lie down and stay there.

Martha was a real trooper. She put her faith in God as we all do in times like these.

It was a steep uphill climb for her and it was difficult to watch her begin to lose the fight. On top of all of this was insurance, doctor bills, hospital bills and all the regular stuff you are obligated to each month.

We could feel the pressure mounting but you discover you do whatever it is you have to do to survive and keep your head above water.

In the last few weeks of "Little Miss Martha's life," I was devastated to see her lose all hope, and at 58 years young, always healthy and beautiful, begin to look so weak, thin, hairless and very, very sad and angry at times.

Her mom had passed and we had her flown down to Texas to be buried beside her husband, but Martha was too ill to go down for the funeral.

I know for a fact that some of you have been through tougher times than I am describing, but for my family, this was going through hell and thinking maybe there was just no way out.

There was no way out for Martha that cold January morning when she passed. I covered her up, called the coroner, made a pot of coffee and sat down and cried. Some were tears of relief as I knew she could suffer no more.

Yes, it takes time, lots of time, to find that new normal, but I have found it. I am cheerful, happy, enjoying my life and always looking forward to see what tomorrow might bring.

Like at my house, there will be an empty chair at some of your tables. We remember the good times and the fun times, but life goes on and we just "cowboy up" and do whatever is required of us to do at the time.

It was a lesson I learned and I was really proud of myself when it was all over. I felt as if I had been through a war and had won the battle.

This Christmas I hope you and your loved ones can share all the joy and happiness that the season brings, but if it's going to be a really tough time for you, take heart gentle reader, you will be well again.

Stay tuned, love one another every chance you get and don't let the little things get you down or you might not be able to deal when the big things come along.

Check yer cinch on occasion, God bless you in the coming year and I'll c. y'all, all y''all.❖