September 2, 2014

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By Jim Langham

Putting puzzle pieces together in caretaking

I was 14 years old when we discovered that my Grandma Langham had cancer. The fact that the discovery was made at one of the happiest times of her life made the circumstances seem even more sad than the uncovering of the illness itself.

My grandpa (Jim Langham, also) had passed away 10 years earlier, when I was 4. For most of my childhood, she had lived with the grief of his loss, until one day when she met a nice gentleman, a farmer from the Woodburn area where she lived. Amazing to me, they courted, fell in love and they announced a marriage.

During their time of courtship, Grandma started to limp with a pain in her hip, one that she assumed to be arthritis and treated as such. She limped down the aisle in a beautiful wedding dress on that beautiful spring day in 1962. Little did she and her new husband realize that their time together would be so short.