When life hands you leaves…

…and a rake.

Sunday was a day that really felt like fall was upon us; especially since nearly every leaf from the forest of trees that surrounds us, seemed to land on our roof, cars, and in our yard. We knew the lawn staff (us) had their work cut out for them. After several hours of blowing, raking, tarping*, and dragging the leaves out to the woods; we had finished the job. The yard looked less like a fall-fest and more like a suburban oasis…okay, just a lawn with some bushes around the perimeter.

fall entreprenuer

Early retirement plan…

On Saturday, Hubster and I attended the funeral of a long time friend. It was quite sad, as we hadn’t seen the friend in a number of years. She leaves behind her mother, a husband, son, and daughter. I am not going to dwell on the sadness I feel, but rather a message…COLONOSCOPY, COLONOSCOPY, COLONOSCOPY.

I am fortunate to have inherited not only my mother’s bunions which feature prominently and symmetrically on each foot, but her gene mutations for familial adenomatous polyposis…tranlastion: the gene which produces pre-cancerous colon polyps.

When I was 14, my mother and father shipped me off to stay with my sister in Muncie, Indiana for the summer. My mother was to have surgery for colon cancer. She credits her doctor, a young surgeon from Boston City Hospital with saving her life. For the remaining years of her life (32 years, but I wasn’t really counting), all I heard was:…COLONOSCOPY, COLONOSCOPY, COLONOSCOPY.

When I was  43, and because I don’t want to get too graphic, something was different. I contacted my doctor and before you know it, I was drinking the dreaded beverage and awaiting the impending, ahem…cleanse. When I awoke from the twilight sleep that was thankfully in place for the procedure, I was greeted with a photo of a pretty pink colon with two little “blips”. I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, so that is what I will call the two little polyps that greeted me on that photo. My doctor had thankfully removed the “blips” from the pretty pink landscape and told me I was the lucky recipient of a return visit in three years. Since that time, I have had two more colonoscopies and two more “blips” removed. The pretty pink landscape is up for another viewing in two years.

My friend was only a year older than me. It is too late for what if’s, and shoulda, woulda, coulda, but it grieves me to think she will not be there for future graduations, as her son is in law school and her daughter is a junior in college. There will be many other milestones missed as well, but life will indeed go on. She will be missed.

I am sorry if today’s post is “kind of ” a bummer…pun intended. I am not your boss or your mother (unless my two Son-sters are reading), but colonoscopy saves lives. If you are 50 or older, have a family history of colon cancer or familial adenomatous polyposis. Go get a colonoscopy!

As I toiled away at the leaves yesterday, I thought long and hard about the friendship that once meant so much to me. I thought about the good times and the bad, the happy and the sad. I thought about the first house the Hubster and I owned. The first fall we lived in the house there was so much work to do inside that we neglected some of the things on the outside. We left a huge pile of leaves at the top of the hill in the yard. We kept intending to rake those leaves. Over the winter, the leaves we left on the grass decayed. In the spring, when we went out to start the spring clean-up, much to our dismay the decaying leaves had killed the grass. It seemed to take forever to get that section of grass back in shape, but we did. A lesson was learned, when life hands you leaves and a rake, take your able body out of the chair and do it!

New Year’s Eve 1990 something

IMG_1992

A photo which is still displayed in my home in a frame titled Friends. My friend sits on the left in the photo behind her devoted husband.

Here’s your rake!

rake

Have a wonderful week!

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Tarping*: Hubster lays a huge tarp flat across the grass. We He rakes as many leaves on the tarp as humanly possible. He gathers the edges of the tarp like Santa tying his sack. Next, he drags the bag into our woods and empties the tarp. This is repeated tens hundreds thousands of times per fall.

6 comments

  1. janey says:

    So sorry for your loss. I was also one of those…..ewwwwww, I’m not doing that. But I did. And all was fine and I felt so childish for not being smarter.
    Your message is heard and appreciated.

    But I do refuse to rake leaves!!!!

    • Beemie says:

      Oh trust me I usually leave the raking, blowing tarping to the lawn boy, otherwise known as Hubster, but this was an epic amount of leaves so I felt obligated to jump in…not literally!

  2. Mary says:

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend.
    It was 3 years ago this week I traveled back to MD for my mom’s colon cancer surgery at St Josephs Hospital on Charles Street. I have had 3 colonoscopies so far and I don’t turn 50 until July!
    Your post is spot on and Colonoscopies do in fact save lives as do mammograms (I don’t agree with the latest mammogram guidelines). Thanks for reminding us to take care of what we can when we are able…now I have to go rake some leaves! .

  3. Nana Diana says:

    Wow! You and I are on the same page in the last few days. You are SO right- Colonoscopy!!!! It can’t be repeated enough times.
    I am sorry for your friend..and for you…and for her husband and children. It really is a silent killer and by the time you are showing symptoms it is often too late.
    This was a great post! xo Diana

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