I think inspiration struck when Chad Sansing posted a link to a maker assignment from last year about creating an album cover. One of my favorite magnets in my classroom is my “rockstar” magnet.
William Shakespeare, aka Billy Shakes in my classroom, never fails to bring a smile to my face, no matter how bad my day may be going. And a few months ago, I was having a lot of those. These days, my rock star is a completely different person.
My family has been touched by tragedy more than many families have. Death is not a stranger to us. And in April, the woman who holds us all together despite those tragedies got a phone call that would change our lives forever. Words like “Stage 2” and “Triple Negative” don’t enter your vocabulary unless someone you love is fighting that big “C” word, ya know?
So. Family has been on my mind a lot lately and my mother is THE rock star. The hippest, coolest, most rockiest rock star ever in my life.
What better way to honor her than put her on an (albeit fake) album cover right? (Okay, there are better ways to honor her, but go with me here.)
I could rack my brain for a cool band name and album title or just be lazy and use the randomizers on the assignment. Yep. Be lazy. It’s summer. Oh SNAP! The random band name and album title actually have meaning?
I am one of three daughters. My mother is one of three daughters. Her mother was one of three daughters. My surviving aunt (tragedies, remember) has three daughters. Are ya sensing the pattern here? I come from a long line of sisterhood who have learned a lot from each other. We’re all pretty tight-knit women. Do I need to go on or do you get the significance yet?
Good, Clever, or Amiable
Triangle, right? Do you have sisters? A trio of sisters can be quite a daunting thing growing up. They contribute gray hairs to their parents (my mother’s is a lovely silver color and she’s hoping it will grow back curlier than it was because the literature says it is so.) They fight worse than brothers, trust me, but woe to you if you are the one picking on a girl in the hearing of her sisters. And their personalities are always, ALWAYS distinct. My middle sister is known for her goodness. She’s pretty straight-laced. She’s a youth minister, criminately. My youngest sister, she is way clever. She’s the prankster and is not above letting go a particularly noxious fart even today to put her family through a little torture. And me? I’m the oldest and the peace keeper. I’m about as easy going as it gets. My name is Amy, after all.
The Red Devil
Because she would have to have chemo anyway, because of her type of Breast Cancer, and because it would mean an easier surgery when that time came, the doctors opted to start with chemotherapy and then operate later. They started with every-two-week infusions and the biggest baddest drug in the chemo world there is. They call this drug The Red Devil. No kidding. Chemo nurses everywhere call it that. Go Google it. My mother said that it must be a good sign that you will be a survivor because the first time you tinkle after a round of it, you pee pink. Guess who is bigger and badder than this big bad drug? You guessed it. That rock star I’ve been talking about. No nausea. No fevers or shakes. She wishes she didn’t need to do the shot they give you the day after to pump up your immune system because that is what makes her ache. We tease her to quit whining and take her medicine. The mouth sores have made it difficult to eat her favorite foods, but the nurses have given her some hints on those too. She’s going to sit at the end of the strawberry row when we take our kids picking at our favorite place, even though she will probably only be able to eat one or two. Her biggest side effect has been the insomnia. I tell her to call me because I get insomnia too and we can tell each other stories, but she hasn’t done so yet. It’s a great excuse to take naps she says.
Last week she had her last infusion of The Red Devil. My sister texted me from the outpatient clinic that she goes to. We take turns sitting with her for the hours it takes to medicate her. Right before the infusion she went to see the oncologist again. The cancer has shrunk from 3 cm to 1 cm and she still has a few more weeks of chemo, but on a lighter drug. We celebrated with some of the clever one’s famous cupcakes. My mother’s hair will start growing back now and her grandkids will miss the colorful scarves, but maybe not the wig. I’ll let you know if it gets curlier.
Here it is in all its glory. Don’t everyone go rushing off to contract me for your next album cover art, you couldn’t afford me anyway. The good one took the picture last weekend when we were all over at the clever one’s home for Father’s Day. It captures my mother’s spirit very well.
And the flip side, complete with song titles. My sisters and I will let you know when we hit triple platinum. You can follow us on Twitter and pay way too much for our concert tickets. Groupies will get to meet the real rock star, though, so be sure to add those back stage passes.