On February 22, 1979, my life changed forever.
That was as far as she always got. Maybe a few sentences further each attempt, but the effort always ended in the same fruitless result. She always aspired to be a writer but things never materialized. Robbie Elizabeth, as my grandparents named her in February of 1935, was the second oldest among four children. I just knew her as “Momma.”
That fateful date she continually referenced provided a memory that affected more than just her life. It changed mine, my sisters Deborah and Karen and most certainly my Dad’s – Bobby, Sr., as well as our entire family Momma was diagnosed with an aggressive growth that began as ovarian cancer. By the time the physicians performed a “look-and-see” operation, the growth had swollen to the size of a football.
The doctors basically gave Momma a month or two to live, tops. Of course, they didn’t know her resolve to succeed against all odds. They certainly didn’t understand her mission from God. Her assignment was to touch as many lives as she could in the short time she had left. Momma’s illness came at a time when cancer research and treatments were in the formative stage and essentially rocket science to the medical community. In those days, you just didn’t beat the disease.