There was talk that he would have surgery to remove the tumor, but many of his lymph nodes had already started mutating into serious, untreatable ones. The doctor recommended immediate chemotherapy, rather than go through surgery and wait months afterward to start chemo. Every month, my parents made the hour-long trip to the clinic to receive an aggressive dose of chemotherapy. The days following treatment were miserable for my dad. He described it like having the flu...times 10.
Why share this with you when we're talking about love stories this week? I've always known my parents loved each other, although, like all of us, they experienced ups and downs of the daily stresses and celebrations in their marriage. I have noticed in my parents, since my dad's diagnosis and treatment, a much deeper love for one another than ever before.
At my mom's quilt retreat that same year, my sisters, aunt and parents were sitting around one night chatting and catching up. Dad's treatment had taken a toll on his energy, and he decided to turn in early. He stood up, said goodnight, and gave my mom a warm, lingering embrace that spoke volumes to me of their love. I've always known them to show affection toward each other, but this small moment seemed different somehow, more personal and meaningful, and I was thankful to have witnessed it.