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Easy Peasy Pizza Party..

So, 2 weeks to get the wedding planned….Just us, the kids and the Justice of the Peace. Should be easy enough…..

We were keeping things low profile. I talked to the JP (Justice of the Peace) in town. She was available for the ceremony on the date we chose. I asked her not to say anything to anyone since we haven’t told anyone yet. I filed for the marriage license. So far, so good. I called Jody to let her know and she was “over the moon” about it (that’s really what she said). She started asking about the date, the time, the location….I had to stop her and tell her it was just going to be us, the kids and the JP. Keeping it simple. I could feel the disappointment through the phone. She said she understood. I asked her if she wanted to go shopping with me to get my wedding outfit and look at rings. Terry & I agreed there was no need for an engagement ring but I did want a wedding ring. Terry didn’t want a ring so I got to pick what I wanted. We chose a day after work to meet and look at rings. I let Terry know that Jody & I were going to look at rings. I was pretty sure what I knew what I wanted. The next day Terry called me and asked if I wanted to meet him in town for dinner? I said that would be nice. So, after work I drove into town and met him at the parking area. He said he wanted to walk down and look at some boots at the local shoe store. Sounded good, needed to stretch my legs after working all day anyway. We were headed down to the shoe store and suddenly he wanted to cross to the other side of the street to “look at something”. OK, like I said previously, there is no direct route from point “A” to point “B” with my husband. We crossed over and continued walking down. We walked a little ways before we turned into the jewelry store. I guess I should have known something was up when he asked me to go to dinner during the week. I am sure if I could’ve seen him when he called me about dinner he would have had that sheepish look again. He told me he should be the one to take me shopping for a ring. He knew the owner of the store and had been doing business there for years. He introduced me and I told him what I thought I wanted. He showed me what he had and said if I didn’t see what I wanted I could order it. I was thinking I wanted a two tone band with gold & white gold, nothing elaborate. While I was looking I saw a thin gold band with small diamonds set into it. It caught my eye. I looked at it and put it back several times. Nothing else really spoke to me. I was hesitant, it was kind of expensive. Terry looked at me and said, “Don’t look at the price. If this is what you want, it’s what you should get”. I replied that it was what I wanted. It was simple, yet elegant (at least I thought so). The jeweler advised we would need to get the ring sized to fit my finger. I asked if I could try the ring on. When I put it on it fit perfectly. Well dang! I guess I was meant to have that ring. That was settled. Terry did the paper work and we went to dinner.

Jody and I went shopping for an outfit for me (I wasn’t doing a wedding dress). It was fun and we had lunch. Things were moving along. Terry finally told his friend, Scott, that we were getting married. He wanted to know when & where. I guess Scott didn’t want to hear about “just us, the kids and the JP”. Terry caved. So our very small, simple wedding started to grow. Well, of course I told Jody that they could come as well. That was it. It was no longer under control. It just continued growing. I called my close friends and family and let them know. I told them I knew it was short notice and if they had plans it was fine, but they were welcome to come. I was surprised how many cancelled their plans and came out. Now Terry, being Terry he didn’t tell all of his friends and family that we were getting married. He told them it was a pizza party for Andi while she was home. His niece was in town with her daughters so they were invited to the “pizza party”. He told his sister the same thing. She wasn’t going to make it so I told her what was really happening. I didn’t want her to miss it because she thought it was just a “pizza party”. Our simple wedding went from no guests to like 25 in a matter of days. Well, at least we were still doing it at our house, nothing fancy and we really were having pizza.

The day arrived. We were not having a regular wedding party, no maid of honor or best man. We did decide to include our dogs. I mean they were members of our family. My dog, Zoey, was the Flower Girl and Terry’s dog, Maty, was the Ring Bearer. We were getting married outside under our Cottonwood tree. No formal anything. It was nice. People were starting to arrive (some still thought it was a pizza party). We hung out and visited for a while. Terry was wearing a tuxedo T-shirt (he thought it would be funny for those who knew it was a wedding), kind of a typical Terry thing. He did change before the ceremony. We were dressing casual, but he didn’t want to be that casual for the ceremony. So the JP arrived and things were getting under way. I was in the house with Jody and Zoey. Terry, Maty and the JP went out to the spot under the tree. People shifted over to that area. I came out with Zoey by my side. She literally had the bouquet of flowers in her mouth and her head held high as we walked out to the tree (it was like she knew this was an important task). While I was walking I heard Terry’s grandniece ask, “Is this a wedding?” Her mother replied, “No, it’s a pizza party.” To which her daughter pointed to Zoey and I and said, “Look, it is a wedding!” I still chuckle when I think about that. We met at the tree and Zoey gave me the flowers. We proceeded with the ceremony. When it came to the time for the ring Terry and Maty turned towards the rear of the property. Earlier he had placed a training bumper out there with the ring tied to it. He gave Maty the command and she ran across the yard, picked up the training bumper and brought it right back to him (she was the ring bearer after all). Everyone thought Zoey carrying the flowers was cool; Maty getting the ring really blew them away. The ceremony was simple and quick. I think people were more taken by the dogs then by our wedding. We had pizza ordered and it showed up shortly after that. Everyone hung out. We played games, ate pizza and drank. We had a fire later. Jody brought not 1 “wedding cake”, but 3. So we cut wedding cakes by the fire and everyone ate some. All in all, it turned out to be a good day for a wedding. Even though it ended up bigger than we planned and it wasn’t quite so “Easy Peasy” everything went well. I was starting my treatments in a couple weeks and the good vibes from this would carry over well into that. Check out the photo page for pictures from the wedding. The last picture is actually a video of part of part of the wedding, you can see Maty bring Terry the ring......

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Change my name?

My radiation was scheduled to start the middle of September, which was a few weeks away. Things were quiet (at least compared to the previous months). No flurry of doctor appointments, no procedures or tests, we had already done the preliminaries for the treatments, toured the radiation area, met my team, asked all our questions. So yea, quiet. It was a nice break. It was a Wednesday evening; we had finished dinner and weren’t doing much of anything. Out of the blue Terry wanted to go to Lynnie Lou’s for ice cream. Lynnie Lou’s? I was a little surprised. Ice cream at Lynnie Lou’s was a Sunday evening thing. I mean it had been a family tradition from back when his kids were growing up. I had had a long day and didn’t feel like going anywhere. He seemed disappointed. The next evening I had to run over to the veterinarian to pick up some meds for one of the dogs. “Oh, can we go to Lynnie Lou’s for some ice cream?” he asked. Lynnie Lou’s again? “Sure, I guess we can do that” I replied. So we loaded into the car and headed out. The veterinarian and Lynnie Lou’s were sort of in the same direction…sort of-kinda. First stop was the veterinarian. It was mostly back roads over to Lynnie Lou’s. Anyone who knows my husband or has gone anywhere with him knows there is never a direct route between 2 points. There is always a “round about” way to get there. While we were driving we noticed bright lights in what looked like an area of fields. Well, this warranted investigating. So, off we go to find these lights and see what’s up. In the country, on back roads, in the dark it’d not easy to find anything, including a field of lights. After this turn and that turn and a couple of “Oh, wait-let’s go this ways”, we eventually found it and drove up the driveway. Turned out to a music festival that went through the weekend. People were wandering around, dancing in front of the stage and even camping out for the weekend. Kind of like our own mini Woodstock. Well, that mystery was solved…..on to the ice cream.

We finally made it there (just before closing). We got our ice cream and went out to sit at one of the tables. My husband is generally a laid back person, but tonight he was a ball of nervous energy. He had been since we decided to go to Lynnie Lou’s. We were sitting eating our ice cream and talking about nothing specific. Out of nowhere he asks, “So, what would you think about changing your name?” Ummmmm…..wait-what? “Changing my name? Why would I change my name? What would I change it to?” He very sheepishly (yes, sheepishly) looked down at his ice cream than back up at me and said, “I was thinking maybe you could change it to Mott.” Long pause, mind scattered, processing, processing and then, CLICK! “Wait, is this the Terry Mott way of asking me to marry you?” I asked. “Well (more sheepish looks), yea” he replied.

We had never really talked about getting married. I knew we would eventually and told him that, but it just wasn’t a thing. “Where is this coming from? Why now?” I asked. He replied, “I should have done this a long time ago….” Ok, take some breaths, let things settle in. “So, do you want to get married?” he asked. “Of course I do.” I replied, “I knew we’d get married someday.” I definitely did not see this coming, I had no idea he was thinking about it.

He looks down at his ice cream again and back up at me (you guessed it, uh oh, that sheepish look again). He said, “I was hoping we could do it while Andi (his daughter) is home.” Processing, processing, CLICK….”Wait, that’s in 2 weeks!” I exclaim. “You want me to pull together a wedding in 2 weeks?” He smiled and replied, “I was thinking we could just have the kids and a Justice of the Peace. Simple.” Ok, that made sense. It couldn’t get much easier than that. We finished our ice cream and headed for home.

Terry called his daughter the next day. In his “round about” way of doing things he asked Andi, “So what do you think about having another Mott in the family?” There was a long pause and Andi asked, “Is Brenda pregnant?” “No!” Terry replied. “Oh, are we getting another puppy?” Andi asked. “No”, Terry told her, “we’re getting married….” I guess that was acceptable although I think she was really hoping for another puppy. Terry slightly changed his approach when he told his son Darryl. Apparently it was a surprise to Darryl as well. “Is Brenda OK? Did something change? Is something wrong?” was Darryl’s response. Both the kids knew I had breast cancer so I guess that’s where Darryl’s concern came from. Terry assured him everything was ok. It still makes me chuckle thinking about it. Andi thought I was pregnant and Darryl thought I was dying. At least neither of them was against us getting married…….

So two weeks to plan a simple wedding. Just the four of us and a Justice of the Peace.

Easy Peasy. No problem…… Yea right, like it ever really goes that way.

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In addition to my friends and family I also had support from an unusual team. They provided more of an emotional support. They were with me every day. They knew when I needed comforting, got me up and moving when I didn’t want to and even brought me presents. They have always been there for me when I needed them with no expectations. Their names are Zoey and Maty and they are our dogs. Technically Zoey is mine and Maty is my husband’s. They are both trained retrievers (hunting dogs). Zoey has always been very in tune with me. I used to work on the road and she came with me every day from the time I brought her home as a pup. We were together 24/7. She knew if someone made me nervous or sometimes she sensed something that she didn’t like. She’d go into “guard” stance, drop her head, raise her hackles, get in front of me and even growl if she thought it was needed. If I was frustrated (while working), she’d get right in my face until I gave her a hug (how can you not feel better after that?). If I was sad, she’d stand with her head in my lap and just look up at me. She was always at my side. When we were out in the yard if I walked across the yard for something she would get up and follow me. I could walk back and forth across the yard 10 times and she’d be right there with me. Maty is Terry’s dog, through and through. She lives for him. If she thought he was upset with her you’d have thought her world was ending. We’ve had “The Girls” for 9 years. They are 4 months apart in age. The Girls and I walk a couple miles or so almost every morning and they have been my best hiking buddies. We did/do a lot together. When all this cancer crap started, Zoey knew something was up. She either sensed my tension or sensed/smelled the cancer. There have been studies that found a dog can smell cancer in a person. It changes the person’s chemistry and a dog can be trained to detect it, like sniffing out drugs or bombs. Zoey stayed close by to me, even more than usual. When I was recovering from the surgery I spent a lot time on the couch. If I was having a rough day they were both right there. Maty could/would pick up just about anything and bring it to you. I mean anything. If she could get it in her mouth, she could pick it up. She would get keys, glasses, and the TV remote. She would even bring me a bottle of water after a race (I used to run). Every morning when we came downstairs she would greet us with shoe or slipper or whatever she could find. It was a present. She loves to give presents. Ok, back to my recovery. There was one day when I was just really sore, swollen, tired and probably feeling a little sorry for myself (it happens to the best of us). At one point I had every shoe, boot, sneaker and slipper on my lap. Maty just kept bringing me presents. And Zoey who was not so much into giving presents did give me her bone, but she took it back when she realized I was not going to chew on it. No sense wasting a perfectly good bone. Anytime I talk about that or think about it I have to smile. When I was getting the radiation treatments I was often very fatigued. Walking with the Girls was not always at the top of my list, but that was our routine and dogs like routine. So we walked. The walks may not have been as far or as fast, but we walked. There’s a saying that goes with cancer (or any other major condition/disease), “my new normal”. Through the diagnosis, surgery, treatments, after treatment therapies, a lot of things change in your day to day routine. You can’t do things you used to, you have to things you didn’t think you would have to, and you have to constantly adjust… “Your new normal”. Even though I was tired, we walked. Amidst everything going on, all the changes, there was something comforting about continuing our routine. It was an “old” normal, the Girls and I, doing our usual thing. We walk in an area that I don’t have to leash them. There’s no traffic, no houses, just a dirt road. They can run, sniff the new smells left from the wild animals in the area. They can be dogs. They never went too far from me (even before), part of their training. During my treatments, they stayed even closer. Usually one was at my side while the other ran and sniffed. They seemed to take turns staying with me. One was at my side and the other was off exploring, sniffing. Then they would switch. It took me a few walks to realize what they were doing. It did give me a sense of security. I am constantly amazed by these dogs and their understanding of our needs. Being able to walk with them throughout my treatments (even if it wasn’t very far) helped me hold onto the hope that things could/would return to some semblance of “normal”. Hope is a powerful thing, almost as powerful as the unconditional love of your dogs…….

*The Girls and I have been on many adventures together. I will be writing a “Bunny Trail” story about some of our adventures as they are worth telling.

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