What’s taking so long? Frustrated, tired, and in pain, Jim Turner added some colorful gestures to his question.
Tammy merely shook her head, the fingers of her right hand touching the side of her forehead and then turning out and away. Don’t know. She put one finger to her lips, then let it fall slowly down to an open palm hand. Be calm. Her eyes pleaded with him.
Jim studied his wife’s face. Tammy’s eyes were red and puffy, her bottom lip swollen from much anxious chewing, and her shoulders were slumped with the weight of worry. He frowned. He was doing this to her. It was all his fault. His body had failed to be healthy, to act normally…again…
What’s wrong? Why do you look at me like that? Tammy wanted to know.
Jim was in the process of answering his wife when some movement caught his eye. The doctor had finally come into the room and woke the fourteen-year-old girl sleeping in the corner.
Jim was indignant. How dare that stupid doctor march right in and wake up his daughter? Did he think that Abbie would interpret all of that medical mumbo-jumbo at this time of night, under all that stress?
Where is my interpreter? Jim demanded.
Abbie rubbed her eyes. On the way.
They’ve been telling me that for hours!
It’s OK; I’ll try to do it for now.
They had no other choice.
Tammy reached for Jim’s hand.
They sat in their familiar, silent world as the doctor spoke with Abbie. What were they saying? Jim could feel his heart pound in his chest, he could almost hear it.
Wait. What happened? What did the doctor say? Jim and Tammy locked their arms together and exchanged a worried look. Why was their daughter crying? What was going on?
Abbie ran back to her seat in the corner and buried her head in her arms.
Jim focused in on the doctor. He was speaking to him. But what was he saying? Jim never was very good at lip-reading. “…sorry…test…you have…kanser…liver and…”
Kanser? Jim tore his gaze from the doctor long enough to glance at his wife. She was crying. Her hands shook as she formed each letter for him.
You have cancer…
*Based on a true story*
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