October is for...
When I first sold to Muse It Up Publishing, I heard chatter about cancer stories and anthology on the author loop. I inquired a bit and was able to submit mine about my friend who'd passed the year prior from stomach cancer.
My friend was the life of the party and downright gorgeous. We attended Jazzercise together for many years. Loved to needlepoint. Loved handbags. Loved to read.
So in honor of her, I thought I'd post a few paragraphs from "Taking Flight."
It seemed everyone knew this woman.
And me, a newbie in this Jazzercise class at a local rec center, knew who she was because everyone had loudly shouted her name, “Charley,” as the class assembled.
Charlene, Charley for short, stood on the back row with her equally rambunctious friend, always joking, playing around, and dancing their own routines. The whole class loved their antics, exuberance, joie de vivre. They would laugh and poke fun at their friends like they were the Jazzercise police, “You’re doing it wrong.”
Carley was tall, reed thin, had a wide smile, and a mischievous glint in her eye. She loved to needlepoint, absorbed books, and shopped at Talbot’s. She adored her small dog and hubby. Quietly reverent. We all knew she looked like a superstar when driving around town in her bright red sports car, top down in the summer. For Lent she gave up chocolate, Mexican food, and swearing. She failed miserably at swearing.
Then her world changed. Charley was diagnosed with colon cancer.
The unexpected news shook us all. The whole class held a collective breath. Could Charley fight and win this battle? What would our group be without her?
We couldn't imagine.
For as long as she could, she came to class and continued to dance her own crazy steps. When her hair fell out, she tied colorful bandanas on her head. To show our support, we wore one too. However, the subsequent surgeries and chemotherapy took a toll on her already skinny frame. Pounds evaporated from her body. We were scared for her.
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