Roxanne's benefit last weekend was one for the books!
It was like a Dursette children reunion minus a few,
It was overwhelming the amount of people there,
especially her family; Mom, Dad, siblings....
It was just a very beautiful and emotional day.
Altough, when given the opportunity to share a talk I do,
and while I always kind of plan for these things,
I never really say what I write down,
It is usually just a matter of minutes before I put down
my writing I had prepared and go with it.
Sometime, people will say something like,
"....Oh when you said that..."
and I can't remember having said that.
Yet there are a few things from this talk that I want
to remember, I want to preserve, just like my reclamation art.
So here I share just a few things I remember saying,
It may not be verbatim, but it is what I want to remember.
I AM HONORED TO BE HERE SHARING A FEW THINGS
WITH THIS BIG AND WONDERFUL CROWD ALL HERE
TO SUPPORT ROX AND HER FAMILY,
WHILE THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME, IT IS MY STORY
THAT MAKES ME ABLE TO SPEAK AT A CANCER BENEFIT.
SO I WROTE A JINGLE, BECAUSE, YOU SEE, ROX AND
I, GROWING UP, WE SANG JINGLES, WE KNEW THEM ALL.
AS WE LAY IN THE TWIN BEDS IN MY HOME,
AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS WE SANG
BRADY BUNCH, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND AND
WE SANG BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.
BEAR WITH ME AS I SING THIS ONE, AS I CAN'T SING:
SANG TO THE TUNE OF THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES:
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT A MAN NAMED FRED
THE POOR CAJUN MAN BARELY KEPT HIS FAMILY FED.
THEN JUST WHEN THINGS WERE GOING GOOD....
HIS 5 YEAR OLD LIL DAUGHTER CAME DOWN WITH THE CRUD....
CANCER IT WAS,
1968, NO CURE
WELL, SITTING THERE IN RACELAND OL' FRED WAS SO AFRAID
THE DOCTORS AND THE FAMILY SAID,
'FRED TAKE HER FAR AWAY!'
THEY SAID NEW ORLEANS IS THE PLACE SHE NEEDS TO BE
SO HE PACKED UP HIS BABY AND HE WENT TO THE CITY.
TOURO HOSPITAL, RADIATION AND CHEMOTHERAPY.
(side note, I am quite proud of my skills here!lol)
SOMEONE ASKED ME THE OTHER DAY, HAVING FOUND
OUT I SURVIVED AN INCURABLE CANCER BACK IN THE 60'S,
HOW DID THEY KNOW YOU WERE CURED?
I HAD NOT THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. YOU SEE,
BACK IN THOSE DAYS, THERE WERE NO PET SCANS,
CT SCANS, NO MRI, HECK THERE WAS NOT COLORED TV.
SO WHAT THEY DID IS, THEY PUMPED YOU UP WITH
THE ONLY CHEMOTHERAPY THEY HAD, TWO TO CHOOSE FROM,
GAVE YOU ALL THE RADIATION A LITTLE 5 YEAR OLD COULD TAKE
AND SENT YOU HOME WITH YOUR PARENTS HAVING
BEEN GIVEN THESE INSTRUCTIONS,
"IF SHE IS STILL ALIVE IN THREE MONTHS, BRING HER BACK.
THEN THEY PUMPED ME WITH MORE CHEMO AND RADIATION.
THAT IS HOW IS WAS DONE BACK THEN.
ITS A FAMILY JOKE THAT BY THE TIME I WAS 12,
I REFUSED TO DIE SO THEY FINALLY BOUGHT ME A BIKE.
WHILE THIS SEEMS LIKE A CRUDE JOKE,
THERE WAS SOME TRUTH TO IT, MY PARENTS WERE SOOO
OVERPROTECTIVE, HENCE CAME ROX BEING MY FIRST FRIEND.
YOU SEE MY SISTER, CELENA, (i was so glad she was there for support)
WAS BEST FRIENDS, WITH ROX'S SISTER, LIZ
AND THEY LIVED DOWN DURSETTE LANE SO IT WAS ONLY RIGHT
THAT I COULD WALK WITH CELENA TO PLAY WITH ROXANNE.
AND PLAY WE DID. WHEN WE TOLD OUR PARENTS WE
WANTED A GROCERY STORE IN THE PLAY ROOM AT
ROX'S. OUR PARENTS STARTED SAVING ALL EMPTY FOOD CARTONS.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THAT PLAYROOM HAD MORE
GROCERIES THAN LEDET'S SUPERMARKET.
I WANT TO SAY THAT THERE, AT MR. LINTON AND MRS. HELEN'S
HOUSE I WAS TREATED JUST LIKE ALL THE REST OF THE KIDS.
THEY DID NOT KNOW AT THE TIME HOW MUCH I NEEDED THAT.
TO NOT BE THE SICK ONE, THE ONE EVERYONE FOCUSED ON,
BUT JUST ANOTHER KID, SHOOT, I THINK MRS. HELEN
EVEN FUSSED ME A FEW TIMES! NO ONE FUSSED THE SICK ONE
I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR THAT, IT MADE ME SEE
ANOTHER SIDE OF MY LIFE, AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE JUST A KID.
THEN WE GREW TO BE TEENS, AND LIKE MOST TEENS WE
GREW APART SOMEWHAT, DIFFERENT CROWDS BUT
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE WE WOULD MEET UP OR
VISIT AND CATCH UP ON ALL THE HAPPENINGS IN OUR LIVES.
WHEN I FOUND OUT SHE WAS GOING TO MARRY WHO
EVERYONE HERE KNOWS AS NATHAN BUT I ONLY
AFFECTIONATELY KNOW HIM AS NOMBRE' (belly button in cajun french)
I WAS SHOCKED, NOM AND I WERE PARTY BUDDIES FROM
HIGHSCHOOL! OH THE STORIES WE COULD TELL.
THEY MARRIED AND MADE THIS BEAUTIFUL FAMILY.
ROX SPOILED HER TWO BOYS LIKE NO OTHER,
THEY WERE HER BABIES, HER REASON TO FIGHT
SO HARD NOW.
LET ME SHARE A FEW WISDOM'S I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE.
LAST WEEK I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH MY NIECE, TOYA
(who was also in the crowd and i was pleased to see)
WHO IS FIGHTING HER OWN CANCER BATTLE.
'AUNT LIL, EVERYONE WANTS TO DO A BENEFIT FOR ME
BUT I HAVE TROUBLE TAKING MONEY, THINGS FROM OTHERS.
I AM THE ONE WHO WORKS, MY WHOLE LIFE, I AM THE
ONE WHO GIVES NOT GET..."
I STOPPED HER THERE.
I SHARE HERE TO ROX AND HER FAMILY WHAT I SHARED
YOU SEE, THIS DAMNED DEVIL OF CANCER,
ITS RARELY ABOUT US. THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING
BUT MORE ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE,
SOMEONE WHO IS WATCHING THIS FAMILY, WATCHING
TO SEE HOW THEY GO ABOUT THIS HARD TIME,
HOW THEY FIGHT THEIR BATTLE.
I GO ON TO EXPLAIN, TO TOYA,
YOU SEE WHEN YOU REFUSE HELP, REFUSE
MONETARY THINGS, BENEFITS, YOU ARE TRYING TO
CONTROL THEIR CHANCE A BEING A DISCIPLE TO GOD
OR WHATEVER HIGHER POWER YOU BELIEVE IN.
YOU SEE, WE RARELY HAVE THE CHANCE TO DO GOD'S WORK
AND WHEN WE DO, IF YOU DENY THAT, YOU ARE
STOPPING THE BIG MAN'S PROGRESS.
WELL SHE HAD NOT LOOKED AT IT THIS WAY.
I HOPE I GIVE INSIGHT TO ROX'S FAMILY AS WELL
AS ANY OTHERS OUT THERE SUFFERING FROM THEIR OWN
INSURANCE DOES NOT PAY MISSED DAYS AT WORK
FOR THE PATIENT OR THE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO NEED
TO BE WITH YOU. IT DOES NOT PAY GAS, MEALS ON THE ROAD,
HOTEL ROOMS FOR TRAVEL. IT DOES NOT PAY FOR PEACE
OF MIND THAT THE ONE WHO IS USUALLY THE GIVER,
GETS WHEN SHE/HE BECOMES THE RECEIVER.
SO BENEFITS ARE IMPORTANT AS WE LOOK AROUND TODAY
TO SEE ALL THE LOVE OUR LITTLE COMMUNITY HAS
FOR THIS FAMILY.
I LOVE YOU ROX, AND YOUR FAMILY AND I CONTINUE
TO PRAY AND FIGHT WITH YOU GUYS.
I ended with one of our favorite songs back in the day.
we all sang,
LEAN ON ME
and I reminded them I needed help as I could not sing and that
was a good thing because if I could, none of you would know me,
I'd be famous somewhere. I called my dear sister, C up to
sing with me ala' karaoke and the crowd sang with us as
tears streamed down many faces.
It was a great day.
I ended it with a visit to my Uncle Luke and my cousins.
That is a whole other blog!
Again, I write this one, not for bragging rights but
because I want to remember and never forget,
what myself and my little community shared that day,