Sunday, December 6, 2009
The year 1995 brought with it some changes....some welcome....some unwelcome.
The radio station that Mark worked for was being sold. The general manager/owner also owned stations in Vero Beach, FL and Cape Cod, MA. Mark was offered positions at either station. We visited Vero Beach and I really liked it. It was a quaint little town by the ocean. I would have been happy there. Mark accepted some temporary work there. He would stay in Vero Beach for the week and come home on the weekends.
We went to New York that July to visit my father. While we were there, we took a two day trip up to Cape Cod, to visit the station there, and see the area. We stayed in Hyannis and it was so pretty! All of the shops and flowers and tree-lined streets, the Cape Cod style houses...we fell in love with it immediately. We returned to Florida, and planned our big move to Massachusetts.
In the meantime, my supervisor and dear friend at work, found out that she had breast cancer. She had had a baby in 1994, and had felt the lump soon after that. She thought that it might have been a clogged milk duct, and left it at that. She and her family were having trouble with their health insurance at the time, and I remember her telling me she didnt' want to go to the doctor to see about it. I begged and pleaded with her to go, as did her husband and her parents. When she finally did go...it was very bad news. Julye was 35 years old, married, with two small children. She was terrified. The day she went in for her biopsy, all was quiet at the office. Everyone was on pins and needles...none of us could concentrate. When her husband called to let us know the results, all of us cried....every single one of us. Todd told me that Julye wanted to see me, and bring her some work that she had. She was in shock, as we all were. Her daughter was jumping around playing, her son was just a tiny thing, crawling around on the floor. And there was Julye...sitting in a recliner with a huge bandage around her chest, talking to me a mile a minute....rocking in that recliner so fast, as if it would take her away. I took her the work, she hugged me and thanked me. Life at the office after that was sad. Julye was the type of person that was upbeat all of the time. She was funny, loved to kid around, and she loved everyone....and everyone loved her. She was the only supervisor that I have EVER had that would thank me at the end of each day. The first time she did it, it took me by surprise...I was leaving and she said "Thanks, Mis!" "What for?" I asked, perplexed. "For being here today and doing a great job.", she answered. She was the best supervisor anyone could EVER hope for.
She came into my office one morning, and shut the door....big tears rolling down her face. In her hand was a chunk of her hair. It had begun falling out. I cried with her. I was angry and sad....why did this have to happen to such a beautiful, wonderful person?
She told me once that when she went to get her chemo, that she was very very cold. Her chemo days were Fridays...she went, and came home and collapsed for the rest of the weekend. Fridays she came into work before her treatments, and always wore a t-shirt that us girls got her that said "No Hair Day"....she went without her wig on Fridays....she wore a soft terrycloth turban.
I wanted to do something special for her that Christmas, that involved everyone in the office. I bought a soft button down sweatshirt jacket, and all different colors of fabric paint. I had everyone in the office choose a color of paint, dip their hand in it, then place their handprint on the jacket and write their name underneath. When we presented it to her, I told her that all of us were praying for her, and helping her to stay warm. I can't describe that moment. I will always remember it.
Julye Rae Kagan lost her fight against breast cancer on June 7th, 1997. She left behind her loving husband Todd, and two children Jacqueline, age 7, and Justin, age 3. She left behind many people who loved her....she touched many lives so many different ways. I will never forget her. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her.
What were YOU doing in 1995?