In June of 2002 my mother turned 50. My step-father called me two months before the event and asked me if I was planning to come up to see her for her birthday. I informed him that I had already put in for the vacation time, and I would indeed be in Wisconsin to see her turn 50. Gary asked me if I could keep the fact that I was coming a secret and show up at the party the night of her birthday, not letting her know that I was in town.
Always one wanting to surprise someone, I decided to play along and didn’t tell my mom that I was going up for her birthday.
As time for the party drew near, my mom started getting sick. Three days before the party her doctors told her the cause – her doctors diagnosed her with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.
After six months of chemo-therapy and radiation she was cancer-free. She’d beaten the reaper.
Last week her doctors again diagnosed her with cancer. This time the tumor is between her lung, the tip of her collarbone, and her larynx.
She starts radiation therapy on Thursday.
UPDATE: 2018-09-17 – As I re-post the original content of Dave’s Not Here… I get to re-read it all. I have one thing to add to this post: No one beats the reaper. No one.
Working at this job offers me a wealth of experience. Since the day I started working here I can honestly admit that I have performed a multitude of tasks that I thought I’d never do only a few months ago.
Today, I broadened my horizons by performing a rebuild on a Compaq N610c laptop using parts cannibalized from two others. Three months ago I was deathly afraid of even loosening the screws on a laptop. Today I’m more concerned about robbing the broken to fix the not-so-broken, since parts replacement is a sensitive issue here.
My old job was in Long Distance Network Translations and I sat at a desk in a climate controlled office. In the past two months I have learned to run cable outdoors, in the rain, while crawling under a building through the mud. I have learned to put up 2 2.4 meter satellite dishes and one 3.8 meter dish. My skill-set is regularly broadened with the programming of various types of Cisco Switches and Routers.
I have learned how to install, from the ground up, a Nortel Meridian Norstar PBX (no big feat that, but I’d never done it before). I have learned to program said PBX – again, no big thing.
I have become a pirate of the highest quality, locating and acquiring parts and tools from the unlikeliest of places. In fact, today I received an Operation Iraqi Freedom cap with a Jolly Roger affixed to the front panel for my skills in piracy in support of the team.
I’m learning the fine art of building a network from the ground up, not having had any previous experience I am learning, the hard way, all the things that I need to make a proper job of a start-up network.
When I leave here in a year or three, I can’t imagine what my résumé will look like.