Saturday, May 10, 2008

Racing for a Cure

This morning is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Sacramento. My daughter and I will go and walk it together, wishing we could do more to stop this terrible disease. My own mother passed away from Breast cancer 9 years ago and her mother when she was just a kid. It's time to stop this dreadful killer before anybody elses loved ones have to fight and families are torn apart. I know there are so many cancers and other diseases out there that we have to dedicate ourselves as human beings to eradicate, but this particular affliction has caused a lot of damage directly to my family and I worry for my 2 daughters. I know in the future there will be a cure, advances have already been made and the survivors are able to live better longer lives in complete remission.
Janice Roberta Stepp was a wonderful woman, who lived a very tough life. She made a lot of bad choices in the men in her life and I know that caused her some suffering. She also found Jesus, and that comforts and encourages me like nothing else she could have done. She lost her mother when she was just a kid, and did a lot to take care of her father and her two brothers, while she needed someone to take care of her. She never got a high enough education that could have propelled her beyond the need to have men take care of her, men she apparently could not see into their hearts and find a good one. After she had a baby girl, Loretta, her first man (husband?)___ St. John left her. Then she got pregnant by another guy, Donald Stevenson(military), and he didn't even stick around long enough to see me born. Well Janice made a decision to have the baby(yay)and give him up for adoption. The heartache this must have caused her lasted the rest of her life. She had another boy by another guy and she did keep Eddie, who became a dependent on her and ceaselessly made her cry for him, because he needed more help than she could ever provide by herself. Finally Mr. Stepp came into her life and she found a man who would stick by her. They had a son, Arthur, who embodied all her sons in one person. Art was smart, not self destructive, and he was there. Janice continued to take care of her younger brother right up until she died. Diagnosed with breast cancer at a relatively young age Janice beat it back and got it into remission. She got to see her Grandchildren born to Loretta and I know that was a pure joy to her heart. Then the cancer came back and spread to her skin and bones and would not give up this time. But Janice held on long enough to get to meet the son she had to give up at birth. She met me as she started fighting the cancer again and got to know that she was having another grandchild, a granddaughter. I sent her a lot of pictures and many letters, as the cancer took its toll. I thought I had more time. I never realized she would be gone in a few short years, that I could replace the false hope and subsequent loss I gave her of another grandchild, with the good news of another pregnancy, our baby girl, Veronica Rose. So today I will honor the suffering of this dear soul who was tormented throughout her life with small (actually great)joys and huge pain. The tears are so close to the surface I am sure this will not be the last time I cry today.

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