Where The Popsicles Are-24

“I can do this.”

“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”–Washington Irving

Wednesday morning, The 4th of February, dawned, and I don’t remember if the sun was shining or not. What I knew that morning was that Joanie looked different to me than she had the night before. She came into the kitchen after showering and dressing to get the coffee I had waiting for her, and she looked at me, with those bright blue eyes shining, and said, “I can do this.”

I knew that in the dark of night, before she fell asleep, alone with her thoughts and prayers, she had made a very important decision. She told me that she was scared, but she was not going to give up, and that she was going to beat this thing. I had never been more proud of her, and the courage she was showing at that moment. I gave her a kiss and hugged her and told her we were going to do this together, and she would win.

That morning I realized how important that decision was to her. The cathartic experience from the night before had given her back control of her life. The decision had put her in charge. She was the one now, not the doctors, who would determine the course of her life.  It was, for her, a liberating moment. She knew, without knowing, that when faced with a sea of confusion and doubt, a decision gives you control, and with that control comes the bridesmaid hope.

What I saw and heard from her that morning gave me reason to believe. Four words, that said, “I can do this,” gave flight to that rare bird, courage.

I loved her for that.


About Bob Kallberg

Retired reporter. Concentrating now on recounting Joanie's 12 year battle with cancer, a battle she waged with extreme courage, determination and an indomitable spirit, that, for me, serves as an example.
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2 Responses to Where The Popsicles Are-24

  1. Nancy Hanson says:

    Bob, your story is ripping my heart out. I feel as if I was there watching you two beautiful, sensitive people stare into the darkness and glimpse the light. What an incredible act of courage … then and now.


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