Posts Tagged ‘Deb Cottle’


Just Because She’s Her…

Pink Ribbon

Warning: Get a beverage first.

Special Note: I am editing this as I reel from the news about the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that struck there should not deter us from doing good things for others. If anything, it should motivate us, even more, to do even greater works to counteract the evil in our midst.

Note: I first wrote this in February of 2009 after making a rather huge decision for my own life. Later on in the week, you’ll understand why I chose to re-post this now. At the bottom, I have provided an update. We are the selfless acts we perform for others:

I met her in 1993, a few short months after moving to our little Texas town. At first she intimidated me, honestly! She didn’t smile often and she was ALL business. We met in Sunday School, back when our kids were tots and very soon, I realized why everyone talked about her. I encountered her next as President of the Young Homemakers, a group that does community service around talking to each other about how challenging it can be to be a mom of little ones.
Next I encountered her as President of the elementary PTO. I noticed a trend–when she ran a meeting, they were done in an hour and productive. Few others seemed capable of such a feat, considering that the Board was composed of 27 very talkative, very opinionated, very stubborn women.

Then, she came down with thyroid cancer. While I wouldn’t say I knew her well at this point, something compelled me to visit her hospital room while she recovered from surgery to eliminate the cancer. I think she was a little surprised and stunned to see just an acquaintance visiting her. I was a little surprised myself. To this day I don’t know why I did it…but I think it had something to do with how she would eventually influence my life.

She was there, like many others, when I had my own crisis a few years later…those sudden heart attacks I often talk about. I don’t even want to know everything she did for me then. Let’s just say I felt her presence.

Next, she subbed as secretary of the church while I was drowning in church financial paperwork. As usual, she was competent in every way and I so wished she would just stay to do the job right.

I wound up working at our local university and one day not much later, so did she. We decided to do a certification together that would require us to get up at ridiculous hours on Saturday mornings to go to a town an hour away. I decided that I didn’t want anyone but her seeing what a grizzly bear I would be at that time of the morning. I knew she wouldn’t hold it against me! We solved the world’s problems then and talked about what we hoped our children would do later in life….the stuff that Moms talk about. And in those car rides, a friendship–an undying friendship was born.

Next stop was visiting colleges together with our eldest children. It was both a time that brought a lot of giggles to our faces and a time of complete and utter frustration–watch 2 moms try to counsel 2 very stubborn children on how to be independent…yeah, that’s really what I said…let’s just say 4 people were all very upset with each other and yet, we still came out on the other side loving one another even more intensely.

About this time the hubbies starting buddying up, too, and that’s a rarity…when you not only have a friendship, but your spouses do, too. Pretty soon I found myself loving her children as my own, for not only were they wonderful people in their own right, but they often interceded to make my children’s lives better, too.

One fall she and her daughter got it in their heads that our family and another should be invited to their Thanksgiving Dinner. That was one fun, crazy day and a tradition was born. What’s more…a new family was born…the infamous, wonderful BIG family.

One day the local “momma mafia” started emailing, calling and texting asking me if I had seen her lately. I hadn’t–many of our convos happened over instant messaging! But, soon I did and I knew why I had been contacted. Something was drastically wrong with Ms. Competent and we were gearing up for “Iwo Jima” to make sure she got herself looked at…that’s the momma mafia for you!

The exams confirmed our worst fears…Ms. Competent was dealing with Stage IV Breast Cancer…it was ravaging just about every part of her body. And yet, despite our collective tears, worrying, and overzealous attempts to help her family, she persevered and got herself back to the point where she could work part-time and be that mom again.

Soooooo….because she’s her, because she’s my buddy, because she’s the second mom to my kids, because she’s Ms. Competent, I’ve decided to send her a little “Get Well card” by walking the Dallas Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk next November in Dallas.

We’ve started a team…Kim’s Krew. The eldest DS consented to be my personal coach and chauffeur during those 3 days. See you there!

Update 2013: Kim’s health took a “nose dive” in the fall of 2009. Kim’s Krew completed the 3 Day in early November 2009, raising more than $ 10,000 in donations. Kim was there, even though she had just endured yet another painful round of chemo. (And even though we told her it would be just fine if she didn’t attend.) Unfortunately, Kim lost her battle with breast cancer in early 2010. We still miss our Kim…a LOT.

Point to Ponder Challenge # 1: My second cousin, Deb Cottle, is now battling breast cancer and was diagnosed at age 30 in 2011. A benefit spaghetti dinner will be taking place to help offset her substantial costs in fighting this nasty disease this coming Saturday from 3 pm to 7 pm, local time. If you’re in the Scottville, Michigan area, would you please do me a favor and eat some spaghetti and donate what you can? If you want more details, let me know an email where I may reply. I cannot attend (prior commitments, unfortunately), so you’ll make me one happy woman if you can attend for me!

Point to Ponder Challenge # 2: If that’s not possible, then do Deb and Kim a favor and sign up to run or walk in a breast cancer event in your area. Every little bit helps and many lives have been saved because of such selfless actions in the past. You are their heroes. Thanks!

Tomorrow’s Post: Slam Jam Session…