This is Becky.
Monday the spirit of a great man left this earth and is now reunited with his Father in Heaven above. This man is David Wayne. David has been mentioned previously in this blog. David fought stomach cancer for over 13 months. The quote "trials reveal the character of a man, they don't make the character of a man", is very true especially in David's case. David was a quiet, unassuming, man who humbly lived his life serving others. Not many people knew the "real" David (those are his wife, Deanna's words). We got to know some the real David during his battle. The David we knew fought valiantly, without complaint, and had a smile on his face. He fought for Deanna and was constantly more worried about her than himself. I'll never forget sitting in their home the night after they heard David had cancer last year. Deanna said it was like "a heavy hand came out of nowhere and just dropped down and picked you." I can relate to that feeling. It's surreal many times - you can't really believe you're living in this weird dream or nightmare of this thing called cancer. David was not concerned for himself at all, he was worried about Deanna. He was unafraid, he was only concerned for his family. Because Scott is the bishop of our ward and the Waynes live in our neighborhood, we have had the chance to know them through this event. Last time I saw David he was walking down the street by his home. I was driving by, and was so happy to pull over and see his smiling face. I did not see him often, but treasured the times I did see him. He was a champion for Tara's cause. He was very upset when he heard about Tara's tumor. I guess he felt it was okay for HIM to go through this trial, but not Tara. So, the last time I talked to David, he told me he was taking a break from chemo for 3 weeks and he was going to go to California. He needed some time off to let his body recover. Mind you, David has been on chemo for a straight year and the first round of chemo nearly took his life. He did not react well to chemo ever and it wreaked havoc on his body. Every time we heard he was starting another round of chemo, my heart hurt because I knew what it did to him. I saw him on the street that week. He was smiling and happy to see me. His first words were questions about Tara and how she was doing. He gave me a pep talk about making Tara eat. He stressed how important it was and how hard it was for him to eat, but Deanna made him take a few bites, a few swallows, anything she could. She made David green smoothies that were REALLY green. Mine are a picnic (or dessert) compared to what went in David's shakes. Deanna had him on a strict diet. She read several books and championed David's cause with all her heart. David was only "supposed" to live 3-6 months, but lived more than double that time. Anyway, during our little chat on the street I felt uplifted by David and ready to carry on again. I tried to ask him about himself and how he was doing; but he didn't want to talk about himself much - he kept turning the conversation around to Tara. That day had been a blue one for me - Tara had not felt well and was refusing to eat anything all morning. Food just didn't sound good to her. David picked me up that day. I so enjoyed seeing David and every time I saw him I felt blessed. I always felt like our situation was not nearly as difficult as David's.
He was over to our house on "pizza night" - the day after the dreaded pathology report. He uplifted our entire family that night. He smiled, encouraged Tara, reminded her to take things a day at a time, or 10 minutes at a time and that she just needs to address every day with a positive attitude and just get through that day. David made a supreme effort to come to Tara's wedding. He did not feel well at all that day Deanna said, and thankfully he was moved to the front of the line; but regretfully the line was being moved along during his walk through our line and Tara did not get to talk with him as much as she wanted to. Tara was very tired also that night. That was the last time Tara saw him. This last time business is tough. You never want it to be the "last time". I think the lesson in that is to always let the people you love know you love them no matter what day it is. You never know, as Deanna said just a few days ago, when it's the last time David will walk out of that front door. Deanna said David had Tara on his mind so much - I know he did. He was always more concerned about others than himself. Deanna said her son said, "Dad always prepared everything for us. He always wanted to go before and get things ready. Now he is getting our place ready in heaven for us." Another quote from Deanna she wanted to share, "WE haven't changed, but circumstances have changed." (that was this week).
Last Wednesday was a cry day for me. Tara felt crappy. I wanted to visit David in the Mayo hospital on my loop around the city (Barrows to Scottsdale, then home). I received a text from Deanna saying it was not a good time to come because they were meeting with the doctors and the family. I knew what that meant. I was heart broken for the family and also selfishly sad for myself because I wanted to see David again and had not seen him since his return from California. I took Tiffany Huish's advice and decided it was okay to just cry as much as I wanted and so cry I did most of the way home from north Scottsdale to Mesa. If only other people's tears could help the situation. I think I know what it means to "mourn with those that mourn" like the scriptures say in Alma. I know what that feels like even more poignantly now.
Tara and I tried to practice a piano duet yesterday - the title is "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." We will play it at David's funeral. Deanna likes that Primary song. We have known this duet for years, but still need an hour or so of brush up time. Pray for Tara's fourth finger. I am not typically a perfectionist (for those of you that know me) but I am rather a perfectionist about PIANO. That's it. That's the only thing (well almost only) thing I'm difficult to deal with on. It's the only thing I really expect a high standard of performance from myself and my students and my children, of course. Well, Tara has not been playing the piano recently (can you believe that!!!) and when you take a break from piano, often your fourth finger (which is the weakest) likes to rebel. Tara's is rebelling and she needs to whip that finger into shape to perfectly play one of the passages in this duet. So, that finger needs strength and dexterity between now and Saturday.
Farewell, David Mark Wayne. We will miss you. I know that the scriptures say life is but a moment in eternity, but it's tough to see that "moment" while you're living it and we all will miss David. Deanna and the rest of the Wayne family, we love you and will be right down the street whenever you need anything. Please pray for the Waynes everybody.
On a brighter note, Tara has had some good days since last Wednesday. Maybe the Lord knew that we needed some good days. He only gives you what you can handle so the scriptures say - sometimes I find that hard to be true, but I guess we are handling this. 2 more radiation days and Temodar is finished as of today for four weeks!!! Yippee!!! (Temodar is chemo). Our constant prayer is that Tara is responding to this treatment and that this disease will be taken from her. Thank you so much for your support.
As a mother, I am used to Tara's hairless head. She is still beautiful and it does not bother me to see no hair on her head. She, as her aunt says, has a perfectly shaped head and looks very good. Occasionally, when I look at Tara's head however, my heart still hurts, not because she looks like she has a "funky haircut, " but because that head is a sign of what Tara has suffered and my heart has a pain that hits it at times. My mother went through chemo years ago for breast cancer. I was in Utah the week she had her mastectomy; but was not in Utah the 3 months she underwent chemo. When she came to Arizona for Christmas that year and took her wig off, I started bawling. Not because of how she looked, but because her bald head symbolized what she had suffered and I was not there to suffer with her or help her. So, now that I've had my cry for the day, I will pick myself up and move on. It will be a good day because I get to see Tara and she only has 2 days left of this treatment. I am going to quiz our doctor this morning and see what he thinks about Tara wakeboarding or boogie boarding during her 4 week break from treatment. I'm sure he won't mind, will he??
As always, I love you all and thank you for your support.