You know that sinking feeling you get in your gut while standing on the edge of a cliff? Yeah, that one. Hold that thought.
Now, imagine that you have just been told to step off…………..
There is nothing but air. You will surely fall and die.
I am the oldest of five children. Born and raised in a time when you never worried about your children playing outside, as a matter of fact, none of us ever considered staying inside on a beautiful day.
A bicycle was the accepted mode of transportation. Designer jeans were not an issue. No cell phones for distraction.
You had everything you needed…your best friend and a dollar for a drink and a honey bun at the store.
You went to Church on Sunday, and Mom never had to make us go. Our attendance was expected.
Life never got much more complicated than that.
Our family has been abundantly blessed with good health. Grandparents lived to ripe old ages, after living a full and happy life.
The closest I had ever come to cancer was a paternal aunt with Breast Cancer. It was so long ago, that I barely remembered it.
Then it happened. The diagnosis. The surgery. The recovery. The acceptance. The establishment of “new normal.”
To rebuild your life after the beast enters is not the easiest thing to do. I did what I had to do. It never occurred to me to give up, to not do what I had determined I would do and be in my life.
But.. my precious family still had to deal.
Looking back, I can see that each of them dealt with the beast in their own way.
My brothers and sisters have always known and still do, that I am here for them. They can talk to me about anything. Sometimes I give good advice, and sometimes I just listen.
But I’ve always been here.
Now they had to face the possibility that I may not “be here”
I know they love me. I never doubt that, just as they know I love them. We have and will always love each other.
If you know my family, you know these truths..
1. We are affectionate.
We love one another and are not afraid to show it. Hugging is acceptable. Kissing is optional.
2. We are loyal.
All for one and one for all.
3. We are always and I mean always here for each other.
No one has to go through troubles alone, not with the Peebles Clan.
4. We are LOUD!
I know, but the truth is what it is. I have watched many videos of us at family gatherings and the volume has to be turned down.
Like my daughter Shelley says, “It’s the only way to be heard in this family, to get louder than others.”
My family is very important to me. I was taught that you “took care” of the little ones. And I did that.
I have been told, I did it so well, that I would take their punishment for them.
Now before you get all “well she is just bragging” on me, wait a second…
I was only a little girl, and I certainly don’t remember doing it…….so it’s not as noble as it sounds. But… I would do it today in a heartbeat.
Just as they would for me.
But the beast was one enemy that they couldn’t fight for me. That one had to be dealt with one on one
.Man to man.
Beast to SURVIVOR
Every brother, every sister that I have would have fought the beast for me. I know that, if they could they would have gladly done what ever it took to get me through the battle with the beast.
But in life, there are some battles that are meant to be fought alone. The only help you have or will ever have is HIM.
And that is all a warrior needs in a battle of any kind is HIM.
Please never think that I am better than any other survivor out there. I never felt special or singled out for any special or divine purpose.
I was just a working mother, with a life that I loved and a family that I loved.
Battling a beast as strong as cancer was not on my life’s agenda. Or so I thought. Now, looking back, I realize that it is exactly what I was supposed to do and be.
It is a time of my life of wonderful lessons.
Lessons learned and hopefully taught to others through my struggles of how life can be lived. And that the beast doesn’t always win.
Most of the time it wins, but there are those times that we can look at with new hope, new faith, new strength. Those are the times that we should strive for whether dealing with cancer or with the jerk who cut you off on Woodward Avenue.
Those times when you know you are loved, you know you are strong, you know you are the “best you can be”
You just know !
And if the battle with the beast is lost………………………..
Well, to be absent here is to be present……………where???
That is the question.
I love my family, they love me.
There are just no givens in life. No certain outcomes. No promise of another day. No guarantee that what you want is what you’ll get. Not one of us is guaranteed our next breathe.
But you are promised an eternity. Time without end.
A wonderful alternative to the beast
Eternity, what a lovely word
The next lesson I learned from cancer, and every day life is this.
Family is the heart of the matter
We don’t get to choose them. They are GIVEN to us. I love that idea!! This group of people were chosen just for me. This Mother, this Father and these brothers and sisters are mine.
There is no one in the world who has a family like mine. The unique personalities and bond that we share is not so common these days.
You are truly my foundation.
Family…. The Heart of the Matter.
- Dear Cancer, (rockstarronan.com)
- Sporadic Thoughts on Cancer (and more than you ever wanted to know about a certain procedure) (mikedellosso.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (1) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (2) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (3) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (4) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (5) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (6) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (7) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
- Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (8) (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
without even knowing their names because their features were so prominent making them, perhaps, unforgettable. It seems the likenesses tended to carry through more in the males of the Peebles’ lines. I would bet if you had Uncle Dan, Uncle Henry, Gran, and Maj in a lineup you would know they were kin. Likewise, Luther, Luke and Polk.
William Henry Peebles was a brother to George Washington “Maj” Peebles, DANiel Edward Peebles and James Walter “Jim” Peebles. He was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, died in Morgan County, Alabama presumably at Decatur Memorial Hospital, and was buried at Cottingham Cemetery in Lawrence County as were numerous relatives. This family started out in Alabama in Lawrence County around Hillsboro, Mountain Home, Wheeler Basin or Trinity and over the years many of them migrated to Sheffield, Brick, Leighton, and other points in the Shoals. On the 1900 Federal Census Record for Lauderdale County, they all lived in Center Star, Lauderdale County, Alabama. This was due to the fact that WillMaw Willie Viola Casey Peebles’ family had land in Center Star. The Peebles’ land covered the area where Champion Paper Mill is today and crossed the Tennessee River to Lauderdale County into Center Star. Around the Center Star area relatives included Manus, Posey, Casey, and Laughlin surnames.
No matter where destiny took them, they were still one big, and I do mean, big family. The photo on the graphic below is the only one of Uncle Henry as mother used to call him that I know exists. If there are others maybe the owners will share.