Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nice Peeps

Clearly, I must amend the entry about the other folks on this trip.

When my dad and I did the zip line thingie, there were four other people -- two had just completed our cruise in the opposite direction, and two were going to go on the same cruise as we were. The latter were Kathleen and Wilbur. Wilbur took to zip-lining like a duck to water. He was actually graceful on it, while the rest of us damn near barrelled into the guide at the other side. Kathleen initially had some problems, but she had a "never give up; never surrender" sort of attitude, which got her through it just fine. Kathleen later shared that she wanted to zip line ever since she first saw it on Amazing Race. Of course, Amazing Race just shows you everyone zipping across the line and saying how cool it is. They don't show you the teams strapping on their gear, doing a practice zip, overshooting the distance and plowing into the guide at the other side, or undershooting and having to drag themselves hand-over-hand across the rest of the line. That's TV for you -- all the glory, none of the guts.

I liked Kathleen and Wilbur. I think they kinda reminded me of the "Kentucky" team on Amazing Race -- in that they were friendly, excited about seeing the world, just generally optimistic about things, and had an accent I could not talk to them without unintentionally copying. (Texas, in this case.) We had dinner with Kathleen and Wilbur one night, and it happened to come up in conversation that this is about one year, to the day, from when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathleen herself was an 18-year breast cancer survivor. (Go Kathleen!)

Now, every night at dinner on the ship, it seemed that somebody was celebrating something -- a birthday or an anniversary. Celebrations were accompanied by singing and a small cake for your table. (In fact, just last night, we happened to be sharing a table with an anniversary couple, so we got in on their chocolate cake. Nummy.) So Kathleen, all secret-like, gets the crew to do up a cake celebrating my mom's one-year breast cancer survival anniversary, and her own 18th. The chef goes all out and rather than supplying the usual holiday chocolate cake, he does up a yellow cake with white frosting and puts a pink ribbon on it in frosting. They brought it to our table at dinner tonight with a little announcement.

I know my mom is shy about stuff like this -- not wanting to tempt fate by saying she's a breast cancer survivor or anything. Which I can understand. But I think it's cool to celebrate having, y'know, gotten this far. And awfully nice of Kathleen to have it acknowledged -- especially since she's someone who has gone down the same road.

After the cake came out, Kathleen told us her whole story. The bestest part of which (besides the, y'know, surviving part) was that, when she was diagnosed, she'd been dating Wilbur, and they'd talked about getting engaged but hadn't gone out and done it. And she got home from the doctor and saw Wilbur and told him about the cancer and asked him if he'd be there for her through all of it. And he left and came right back with an engagement ring. (All that and a natural capacity for zip-lining. Kathleen got herself one of the good ones.)


tammyg22 said...

That's an amazing story.  Thanks.  (Say Hi to your folks!)

helmswondermom said...

Great story.  My mom is a 17 year breast cancer survivor.  That was very nice of Kathleen.