By Lorry Myers
I’ve watched the video many times over the last few months. It was filmed in August at my granddaughter, Via’s, 1st birthday party. After the cake was smashed and we sang Happy Birthday, the parents of the birthday girl, tearfully announced that Via was going to be a big sister. It was a shock to everyone, especially to my youngest daughter, Mariah, and her husband. Tanner was diagnosed with cancer a few months after this young couple married and after intensive cancer treatment, tests showed that Tanner would not able to father children.
Replaying that birthday video, I focused not on me running into my daughter’s arms nor the wave of reactions that swept through the family after the announcement. Instead, I only watched my husband’s face and that moment he realized what Mariah was saying. On the video, Randy’s face lit up as the full meaning of her words sunk in. He looked brighter and lighter and his hugs appeared firmer when he embraced his daughter, son-in-law, and me.
Randy couldn’t stop grinning.
On the way home from the party, my husband was still wearing that smiling face as we talked about this miracle baby and everything it meant to us. Together our family had prayed our way through Tanner’s cancer fight and now, we were doing it again.
This time it was Randy’s turn.
“We have a baby coming,” Randy said squeezing my hand, his words full of renewed purpose and meaning.
Cancer is not for the weak and weary and by the last week of his treatment, Randy was exactly that. We assumed it was the radiation that slowed him down. We assumed the treatment that was supposed to make him better, was making him worse. On the last day of radiation, Randy was hospitalized, bald and beautiful and now, positive for Covid-19.
That was not part of the treatment.
Of course, I couldn’t be with him in the hospital so I called all hours of the day and night catching nurses as they started a shift or ended a shift or were in the middle of a shift. At first, Randy and I Facetimed, me doing most of the talking but within a few days, Randy’s condition worsened and the doctor asked permission to put him on a ventilator. Randy informed the medical team that he had a new grandbaby coming in the spring and he sure did want to meet him. Then he did something he said he would never do.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.