Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No Coincidences

On the day before my last chemo infusion, I feel the need to envelope myself in comforting thoughts. Sure, I’m relieved that it’s my last one, however, try telling someone that tomorrow is their last root canal without Novocaine…or the last time they have to be tied to a whipping post.  It’s little comfort to me now.  Beginning with infusion #1 on Sept. 12, I was still recovering from emergency surgery two weeks prior, so I began treatment at about 80%.  Subtract about 10-20% of my physical and mental capacity with each subsequent infusion and I start the day tomorrow somewhere around 30%.  I have no idea if that percentage is accurate.  My brain is way too foggy for math.

So…. on to comforting and happy thoughts….. I used to have dreams about my mom and dad all the time after they died.  Now, unless I write them down or tell someone about them, I tend to forget most of my dreams immediately.  Lately,  I’ve had several dreams about both of them cheering for me from beyond. Each one I still remember vividly.

I believe that in life there are no coincidences.  Albert Einstein said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

Not too long before D-day, I posted a story on Facebook.  To this day, it gives me chills…and makes me smile, which I really need to do today.

Jordan was two years old when my dad (his Papaw) died. He remembers him only by the color photos of the two of them grinning ear to ear.   With his high forehead, sparse head of hair, and thick eyebrows, I thought he looked like a clone of my dad.   I would show Jordan photos and share stories about how excited his Papaw was to play with remote control cars, buy him a Big Wheel, and finally design the model railroad layout he dreamed about for years.  I have no brothers and Jordan was his first grandson.

Jordan, like his dad, is a gifted photographer and enjoys taking excursions to unlikely destinations in search of the perfect photo opp.  Last year, he rode his bike into Lexington’s old distillery district.  He posted some impressive photos on Facebook.  I “liked” them and commented on his eye for subjects. 

Every day, it seemed that he posted a new photo from the same location.  He said he was drawn to this place- a distillery, abandoned for decades.    I said, “What was the name of the distillery?”
“James E. Pepper.”  I said, “Oh my God. You won’t believe this!”  I found my parents’ photo album from when they first started dating, got married, and had me.  There they were-photos of my dad in 1966, working at James E. Pepper Distillery!  Jordan studied the photos and was so excited when he recognized a sign or a piece of equipment in the photos.  I scanned and printed the photos for him and his new project began.  He returned to the exact locations for a re-enactment. Here they are:
 This post is dedicated to my dad’s best friend Ron Chasteen, who I coincidentally found on Facebook.  But then there ARE no coincidents, are there?    


  1. Very sweet, that gave me the chills. Thank you for recording your journey, I am sure you are educating many on how difficult this journey is. I know you are educating me. Bless you, and happy days from here on out.


    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Pat. Thanks for taking the time to send them to me. I hope to meet you someday!

  2. You're right! There are no accidents! You, my friend are the most gifted writer! And you have shared that gift with so many that needed to read and hear about your experience. Your vivid dreams of your parents are cheers for recovery from them. I know that this last chemo session is bittersweet! It's great that it is the last but, not great because of the journey still ahead and the aftermath that this last session will cause. Keep your eye on the future and remember: "There's no place like home". I love you.

    1. Amen, sister! There is no place like home. Thanks so much for all you've done for me. I'll never forget it! Happy Birthday to you, my fabulous friend!