Category Archives: leukemia

Lu’s 26 year marriage


I have a really down to earth coworker that says things as

she thinks them. Sometimes, no filter used at all! I enjoy her

but get frustrated also when it is about religion, politics, or some

other subject that we are polar opposites on!

So, when I was retelling one of my recent love stories about two

women who love each other completely at the break room table

I was prepared for a lot of her spouting opinions or in one simple

word, her “guff.”

But to my surprise, she asked would I like to hear how she met her

husband of 26 years? I was pleased and looked forward to the change

of subject!

Lu was in her twenties when her sister and friends would go to a roller

skating rink together. It was fun on some days, Lu recounted, because the

music would be rock and roll, on others the featured music would be oldies

that would encompass a lot of ‘slow dance’ music. She enjoyed this because

Lu admitted she was awkward on roller skates.

One night, I will call this the “Shall we dance?” night, Lu was stumbling

along and trying to speed up her pace when someone glided past her with

finesse! She glanced at the young man’s face, then she told us, she looked

down. She was in the habit of this, she was even scolded by her mother for

not looking people directly in the eyes!

The man came around again, but slowed as he passed her. Lu again raised

her eyes and looked to her left and he was looking back at her! She said that

she stopped roller skating and headed towards the edge. She saw her sister

and waved at her. She asked her if she wanted to have a snack? Her sister

said, “No, I have my eyes on someone and I want to see if he notices me.”

Lu followed the direction of her sister’s eyes and saw the man who she

had noticed also.

Now Lu paused, she said that she was an “ugly duckling” compared to her

more petite sister. She felt she was too tall, too gangly and too pimply! (She

had a lot of pimples!)

Lu told her sister, “Well, go for it! I am going to get something to eat at the

snack counter. She went into the area and was looking up at the menu and

without even a minute of being there, her man had followed her! He was by

her elbow!

He told her his name was Ted and asked if she wanted to dance? The song

Lu and Ted danced to was the already ten year old song from the movie,

“Flashdance.” That song is, “What a Feeling,” sung by Irene Cara. She

made the couples’ dance that night. They still think of that as “their song.”

She proudly told us, ‘cutting to the chase!’ I married that man!

His name is Ted and he is such a good man. He stuck by our family through

a lot of hard times where some men would give up. We all have worked there

less than 5 years while Lu has worked there for 20 years so we all don’t know

each other’s stories or backgrounds.

Lu proceeded to tell us that her daughter was very young when she got leukemia.

She thought it was going to be the death of their marriage because she had to take

her all the time to doctor’s appointments. There were lots of bills getting stacked

up and they fell behind on a lot of them.

Lu said that her daughter, Theresa, was crying so much at the babysitter’s house

and in kindergarten that Lu felt she had to quit her job.

Lu stayed home, took Theresa to school, took her to the doctor’s and just

was a wreck emotionally. There were several fights a week over money and

also she says she is embarrassed to tell us, that Ted thought she was spoiling


Lu was blunt: “Our sex life went down to nil, nada, nothing!” I could not

even kiss him and think of Ted in a romantic sense. She was totally ready for

his announcement that he wanted a divorce! She had a sister who had been

divorced and he had had a brother who got divorced so they were acquainted

with the danger of it. These family members had sought extramarital affairs

to add fuel to the fire.

But the announcement never came! Theresa went into remission and Lu and

Ted are happily married for 26 years “and counting” she added!