Friday, May 22, 2009


This past week has been of tremendous emotional strain.

This past Monday, my grandmother past away. To begin to explain the roll that she played in my life you have to go back to my birth. "Grandma Clark" was always there. At every birthday, every holiday, school functions ranging from "Arts and Tarts" to band and music concert. My grandma was at little league games and boy scout courts of honor. She would come over in the afternoons to help my parents out by watching us kids after school. My grandma valued music and life experiences. She bought my tenor saxophone so I could follow my dream of music and sent me to the Boy Scouts National Jamboree back on the east coast when I was 13 years old to broaden my horizons. I would spend hours at her house in the summers building little houses and forts out of the scrap lumber that my father stored in her old carport. She would pick me up after school in Junior High so often that I only road the school bus twice in my junior high school years. Once on the way to school on my first day in seventh grade and one on the way home on the last day of ninth grade. Most days my dad would take me to school because I had Jazz band at 0 period but my grandma was there almost every day for the ride home.

Grandma Clark was so giving. It wasn't until I was in high school that I began to realize the amazing truth that was my grandma. My grandma worked so hard to give me and my brothers and sisters a life that most people only dream of. We did not only have our parents who loved and supported us in all we did but we had our grandparents. My grandmother was constantly giving to us kids. We were showered not only but her love and support for the activities we chose to do but she made sure that we had the support to participate in every opportunity that came our way.

My grandmother had been ill for quite sometime and it was really hard to see such a strong and proud woman who had given so much struggle so hard near the end. Her passing has left a very large hole in my life. These last few months have been exceptionally hard because I was not able to visit her as often as I wanted to. I had to be careful of being exposed to illness and she had been admitted to a nursing home because she was no longer able to care for herself. But I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to tell her that I loved her very much. She taught me so much about life and how to work hard in the face of adversary. People have commented about how I have continued to work through my cancers diagnosis and treatment and been impressed with my determination to continue to live my life even when I do not feel well. To this I attribute to my grandmother. I learned that life is not easy but it is better to work hard and persevere instead of letting life conquer my character along the way.

Grandma I will always love you and thank you so much for being so wonderful!

This week was also marked with the uncertainty of having a job for next year. As with most school districts across the nation, the Hermiston School District is grappling with a budget crisis. Being one of the newer hires I have been quite nervous about losing my job. This week was filled with sobering meetings from my union, building principal, and superintendent. Where at every moment I had a lump in my throat that I would be dire financial strain at any moment. More than anything else I have worried about losing health insurance. As I continue to wage my battle against my cancer I have been thankful for my medical insurance. It has allowed me to get the best of care and has brought me a long way in beating this disease. I really feel for those without insurance. Especially when I look into my children's eyes and realize how much they need me around.

On a good note, my hair has started to grow back. It itches like heck but it is so nice to start getting my hair back. Also my good friend Volus is visiting from Pittsburgh. It has been such a long time since I got to see him. He will be dropping by tomorrow morning and I can not wait to see him and to catch up with him a little. Another thing for the good news column is that I have a job for next year as far as I know. I was not notified by administration that I was losing my job and then this week my union voted to cut some paid days to hire back the positions that were going to be eliminated. I am proud to be a part of a union that is so concerned with all of its members.

Well I begin radiation treatment next week. I am pretty nervous about how that will go but only time will tell and today is not the time to worry about it.

I think this has been enough for tonight. I am tired and ready to get some rest.

1 comment:

  1. My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your grandma. I still feel the loss of mine...sounds like our relationships were very similar. I spent as much or more time at grandma's as I did at home through the teenage years. And Jon just lost his a month or so ago. It has been very hard for him.

    Are we just at that time of life where we lose our grandparents, battle serious disease, and worry about keeping our jobs?? When did we grow up? I'm pretty sure I never agreed to this...:D

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.