I was raised in a family of 5 children on a small farm. Most Saturday mornings my dad would go to the local grain elevator. Even as an adult I’m not sure what he did there. Possibly he checked the prices on commodities, discussed farmer topics with other farmers; I do know he often bought supplies for our farm, and he purchased random grocery items my mother requested from town. As children we occasionally went along but usually our Saturday mornings were spent cleaning the house in anticipation of Sunday. On Sunday we went to church, Sunday school and had a huge lunchtime meal, we called “dinner.”
Sunday breakfast often included the raisin bread my dad would have bought at the local store. He loved the cinnamon and raisin loaf, he would man the toaster as the kids one by one would emerge from the bedrooms dressed in our finest and ready for church. I now realize that he provided a breakfast that was quick, rather tidy to eat and did not require cooking or clean up on a busy morning.
In the cloud of grief that surrounded my sister’s death I found myself buying raisin bread, a treat I’d largely ignored in my own household. In the seventeen years since her passing I’ve occasionally purchased the treat but not as frequently as I did during those sad days.
The last in Friday in August, I scheduled my mammogram. Yes, on my last day of vacation, before a busy holiday weekend I had an 8:00 appointment for my screening. Since my sister’s passing at age 40 from breast cancer, my yearly exam is never postponed or ignored. My planning time is different this year, so is my lunch break. All week I’ve tried to respond to Tuesday’s call from the test result desk.
The times I’m free to call they are “away from their desk, or on a call with another patient.” I’ve had meetings after school, and they were gone for the day before I was home. I was becoming increasingly impatient. On Thursday I returned home late from my third day of school to find a letter from the hospital, asking me to schedule an ultrasound mammogram. My new exam is scheduled for today, I’m trying to remember I’ve been through this before and it wasn’t cancer. I’ve even had a biopsy, that wasn’t cancer either. My head knows that, my stomach doesn’t
Since Friday night I’ve consumed a whole loaf of raisin bread.