Marking Mark’s 50th – Monday, January 27th

mark and perkins



Tomorrow, January 27th, would have been Mark’s 50th birthday. We should be celebrating. Instead, I’ll be working all day, and then going to the theater. The boys will be going to school.

In short, I have no idea what to do with a day that is so laden with so much meaning.

Because tomorrow is also the fourth anniversary of Mark’s diagnosis. (He made the surgical team who performed the biopsy sing “Happy Birthday” in the O.R. before they knocked him out. That’s the man I love.)

The best that I can do, in these few minutes before I have to run and jump into my clothes and drive to work, is to encourage all of you who knew and loved Mark, and all of you who are important to my life and the boys’ lives, to do something tomorrow, January 27th, to make it count. Make something happen tomorrow to “mark” the day, something worthwhile to you, to a loved one – or maybe to a stranger.

AND THEN tell us about it. Either here, or on my Facebook page. Tell me how you made the 24-hour box of time known as January 27, 2014 count.

Even if it’s just

“I took the scenic route home from work instead of the freeway.”


“I ate a big honkin’ chocolate chip cookie [one of Mark’s great passions] and didn’t feel guilty for one second.”

Even that.

Give the boys and me the gift of seeing that good can be born out of anything – even stupid, stinking, goddamned throat cancer. Even that.

Make it count – and report back. Best dead husband’s birthday present ever.

The picture above is Mark with his oncologist, Dr. Steve Perkins. As you can see, they kinda liked each other. Dr. Perkins, his nurses – especially Vicki (great name) and Hen – never stopped trying for a cure for Mark. I called Dr. Perkins soon after Mark died, to say thanks for working so hard to save him. Dr. Perkins said, so quietly “Yes. But it wasn’t enough.” And a grace that exists in me despite my best efforts to deny it reached out to comfort the doctor. I had nothing left – it had to be my husband’s spirit there with me, saying “Sometimes the disease wins. Sometimes, it just wins.” And Dr. Perkins said, again so quietly. “Yes. It does.” 


About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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2 Responses to Marking Mark’s 50th – Monday, January 27th

  1. Wendy Welch says:

    Vicki,  I will be conscious tomorrow of somehow gifting Mark and you and the boys with something good.  Love you! Wendy


  2. Shannon says:

    Happy birthday to Mark! In honor of the day, my 2-year-old son Isaac and I had friends over, and we spent 2 hours playing. Really playing hard. Laughing, dancing, enjoying each other’s company, and delighting in the opportunity to be together. Not a normal afternoon for us – usually everyone is going separate ways and rushing about – but this was an important day to slow down and enjoy life. So we did. Thank you for the reminder. Mark’s spirit lives on in our house today, and that is a blessing for all of us.

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