I’d be remiss not to mention all the wonderful health care professionals who worked so hard on my wife’s case and wish to dedicate it to them as well.

I also dedicate it to my editor, Frankie Sutton, who prodded me into revealing a bit more about my feeling than I’d previously revealed and then worked hard to help me express such emotional issues in a clear manner. You greatly improved this piece.

Thank you Jason Merrick for the fine cover that you created. Your cover captures the spirit of the piece.

I’d also like to dedicate it to Jackie Black who is referenced in the piece. Jackie was an invaluable ally in my wife’s battle with breast cancer. Sadly, Jackie succumbed to cancer in 2004.

Most of all, I dedicate it to our wonderful support group who stood by us faithfully through it all. That support group was composed of our families and friends. Sometimes saying thank you just isn’t enough. It doesn’t encompass the heartfelt gratitude that I bear in my heart to this day. I’ll never be able to adequately thank you all.


In the fall of 1994, we were living the good life. We’d just bought our dream house from my parents and moved into it the previous July. We were bursting with joy in the anticipation of spending our first holiday season in our new home. After seventeen years of marriage, we finally owned the home we never even dreamed we’d have, but always wanted Afternoons and weekends were busy as we rearranged the home to make it our own. I spent much of my time working outside to clear the old stumps that marred the surface here and there.

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