Margaret Terry is a writer who lives in Ontario, Canada. Her favorite thing to do is cook for family and friends and sit around the table laughing and telling stories. She is currently working on a collection of stories about the power of a minute to change lives. Dear Deb is her first book.
December 19, 2012
Late afternoon that Christmas Eve, I paced from room to room opening and closing closet doors, searching everywhere like a mama dog that had recently lost her pups to adoption.
I don’t know what I was looking for because the only thing I wanted had just driven away with their dad. My sons, Michael and Patrick were spending their first Christmas at his new house. I was spending mine alone.
I wandered into the kitchen to start the tea kettle and noticed our cat in a tangled mess on the hardwood floor. Mittens had knocked down one of the Christmas cards taped to the kitchen door.
She was in a frenzy trying to shake off a small card stuck to her forepaw and the more she jerked and twisted her paw, the more tangled up she became. I sat on the floor murmuring sweet nothings until she stopped flailing and I could help peel away the tape.
The card was from my new pastor, Ruth. I had received it that morning mixed in with Christmas greetings from the gas and electric companies who wished me a joyous season even though I owed them money.
December 7, 2012
I never planned on writing Deb stories about my wild and messy life. Deb was a church friend I’d known for six years, but outside of church we knew little about each other.
I knew she loved red wine, Motown, and the Buffalo Sabres, and she knew my greatest dream was to write a book.
I had been a storyteller since I was six years when I made up stories to keep my younger sisters quiet so my mother could sleep. Mom slept a lot after receiving her electroshock therapy treatments.
When Deb announced her diagnosis of stage 4 inoperable lung cancer and asked me for encouraging words, I had been thinking of bringing her casseroles. I didn’t know the food Deb needed was stories until I began writing them.
The first few days after her announcement, I emailed Deb Pollyanna snippets, hopeful little notes about having faith and hanging tough.
My letters changed the day she received the news she had a brain tumor that had to be removed before her lung treatments could begin. I felt dizzy thinking about how terrified she must have been to have two cancers to fight.