Texas hot winds swept
across the small apartment sized pool while Dee sat with her four year
old daughter. The child was disabled with cerebral palsy but never once
did it hamper or stop her love for life. If one could get past the
gripping sorrow of the daily struggle all the rest of the child's life was
so beautiful. She was pleasant, had a ready smile, and desperately tried
to do things other children could do.
In this setting was the
first time Dee became acquainted with a young woman who lived at those
apartments with her husband. She was an unusual person and it was evident
she had strong blood as well as having had a caring family. Her manners,
her speech, her decorum was above reproach. Within the charismatic Texas
culture they were like children in a candy store, really. Everything
about the dynamic city of Dallas they tasted. The malls, the traffic, the
social groups, and much more.
Dee hung up from her
friend's call from Houston where she was now living. As was her way she
let her friends words sink into her mind and her heart. “I'm taking
chemo.” The woman flatly came right to the reason she was calling.
The two women had known
each other for forty years and long ago they had learned not to lie or
mince words with each other. Always their relationship was matter of
fact, to the point, and maybe this is why it endured. If there was the
feeling of battling one's way out of a dark tunnel running, searching for
light, all the while not being sure there was an end to it surely Dee was
Now all the things to make
Miranda special flipped through Dee's mind, much like a re-run on a
television show. Miranda loved the commercial with the snooty white cat
who had as his cat food bowl an expensive piece of crystal. The coolness
of the cat reminded Dee a bit of Miranda.
With the children always
about underfoot, a meal to prepare and the hated bag worms coming on the
scene with her junipers Dee had no time to cry. Instead of giving her
family any reason to worry about her grief she simply quickly wiped tears
away before any one of them could see. Only later as she worked in the
Junipers did she allow the tears to flow freely. The bag worms were a
hated enemy and she viciously destroyed each tiny case. They were less
than a quarter of an inch but she knew within days they could strip the
trees. Always, she kept the trees pruned in order to be able to see the
little monsters but occasionally, an egg case would be missed. When this
happened there were hundreds hatching out from it.
“Take that you parasitic
With every clip Dee was
careful to mash each one. At the beginning when she was first learning
about them she simply clipped them off and let them fall to the ground.
Much to her surprise and chagrin the clever little survivors had simply
crawled to another tree and continued with their voracious appetite. She
was thinking she had done something to their evolution because now the
cases were more strongly attached to the tree whereas, early on, they
simply fell off easily. Maybe she had wiped out the ones who had a
weaker hold to the branch. Didn't matter, with plastic gloves and
scissors Dee clipped them off in the middle when at all possible in order
destroy the worm inside the case. She couldn't mash the cancer parasite
within her loved friend's body so as she worked Dee simply had to let
this hateful chore serve its purpose to squelch her grief for the moment.
The hot winds were blowing
across her garden and water was a must. As Dee drug the hose across the
lawn giving each plant a welcome drink she watched them stand erect as the
coolness of the water relieved them from their stressed state.
Where is the hose to reach
all the way to Houston she thought. And even then, would a splash of cool
liquid relieve Miranda's burning sorrow to go along with the battle Dee
well knew was ahead.
That evening in her prayers
Dee spoke with her creator. “Dear Lord, I know your arm is not short.
Please reach for me to Miranda at Houston and You do for her what I