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Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

Tags: musings
Swiftly flow the days

The first sunrise I lived through was in Arkansas. I was born in a small clinic in a small town called Mulberrry. My mother didn't live there. My parents had a rental house in another small town named Alma. But she was lucky enough to give birth to me in a modern facility rather than at home.

Not long after that we started our movement around the country. My father's parents had followed some of the Okies in the next door state and they ended up in the San Diego area. My father decided we would do the same. He found work with an aircraft manufacturing company called Convair. He worked there long enough to find another job with the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe railroad.

His older brother was a morse code operator with that company and he helped my father get on as a fireman, helping the engineers of the trains. So I started living through sunrises and sunsets in California. We lived in Barstow and Needles while my dad was working on the railroad, all the live long day. When my parents split up we all, except dad, went to Missouri. He eventually went back home to Arkansas to be with his parents once again.

In Missouri I finished high school and tried to go to college. I attended the University of Missouri, in Columbia. But I left school and joined the Navy, not really knowing what I was in school to do. In the Navy I got to watch sunrises and sunsets in California, again, as well as Gitmo, in Cuba, and the canal zone, in Panama.

After that I worked, went to the university once more, and found my wife. We celebrated our thirty-fifth anniversary this year. We had lived in Missouri for a number of years, but the past twenty have been spent watching the sun come up and go down in Kansas. And I served in the Kansas Army National Guard for nine of those years.

Since January of 2015 I've been coping with cancer. First I had prostate cancer which was essentially cured by having the pesky organ removed. However, just a few months later, in July of 2015, renal cancer surprised me. Two separate cancers in the same year. What luck. The kidney was removed and we began watching to see if it would recur.

It did in July of 2016. 

I went through chemotherapy in November and December of 2016. Then, in March and April of 2017, I had more chemotherapy. It seemed to control the cancer, somewhat. But the tumors continued to grow in the lymph nodes, and in August we saw the cancer had spread to my hip bone. Time for a brass tacks conversation with the oncologist.

Tell me staight, doc. What are my chances here? According to her, I suprised her by living as long as I have. She honestly doesn't expect me to be around more than a year, at the most. Good to know the truth. Or the truth as much as we actually know. I'm still not sure of anything. I fully plan to keep on keepin' on, if you know what I mean. I have no plans to leave anytime soon.

Anyway, during the past four years I've been having a ball acting in plays. I've been in some fourteen shows since December of 2013. I will be in another this coming December. The Nutcracker: A Kansas Ballet with be performed this season and it will be my fourth time in the show. I plan to be auditioning shortly after that show for another play. I have plans for that, absolutely.

Sunrises, every day. Sunsets, too. Watching my life pass and giving it all I have to stick around.

This will be my last musing about my health issues. Everyone has heard enough, I expect. But you can expect more musings about my acting and about my travels. Those things will be filling up my remaining time. That, and spending time with my family and friends. The people I love and who love me. Next weekend I will go down and visit my family in the Missouri Ozarks. My sister will be making a favorite dish. Stuffed cabbage. My mother used to make it when she was alive and now it's a comfort food for her children. I'm looking forward to it. And watching the sunrise come up tomorrow.  


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