In the service of my Queen
When my lovely wife of 27 years was diagnosed as having breast cancer earlier this year, I did the “guy thing” and researched and read everything I could find on breast cancer and how the patient and their family could successfully “overcome” this life hurdle.
Fortunately, one of those resources was a book, The Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond by Marc Silver; although we were already past chemo treatment #1 (of six) by the time I read Mark’s book, I can say without hesitation that it probably “saved” my life. The chapter that dealt with the “research your way out of it” mentality that so many men adopt (which is not a recipe for success!) was worth the price of the book.
One of the strategies that we both found useful–which we found together in another publication–was the concept that my wife’s needs, wants, desires, emotions–after all, she was the person who was undergoing the chemo–were paramount.
No, make that first place and nothing else was even in 2nd place. Early on, we also read about how family and friends should best interact with the patient: the patient was the Princess and everyone should treat her as such and “attend to her every need” without prompting and with the “spirit” that the Princess’ wish was their “command”.
In my case, I thought it best to “elevate” my wife to the stature of Queen (because I’m not stupid!). I was her loyal “man servant” who attended to her every need with enthusiasm and without question.
I did, however, mention frequently that I was really “bucking” for knighthood. (After all, if Elton John and Paul McCartney and Nick Faldo (golfer) can be knighted by Queen Elizabeth of England, then surely I could achieve similar stature from my queen, Queen Wilma I.)
My Queen completed her final chemo treatment on August 5th and two weeks later we headed to one of our favorite vacation spots, Massanutten Resort in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, for some well-deserved R & R.
On our second evening there we had dinner at one of the on-site restaurants, Fairways, which is situated a small parking lot away from the golf course’s 9th green. As we were leaving the restaurant parking lot following dinner, Her Majesty directed me to pull the car into the parking lot next to the 9th green.
We exited the car and I saw that she had her 7-iron golf club in her hand. She directed me to kneel in the grass and then proceeded to “do the knighting thing” using her 7-iron en lieu of a sword: a tap on each shoulder and one on my head–along with some very sweet and kind words, which will remain just between us!–and I was Sir Robert.