In 2009 Calvin was managing the Cal Black Memorial Airport at Lake Powell and feeling fantastic. Verdonne read about free cancer screening in the local newspaper and they were both tested because both had exposure to uranium. Verdonne worked in the office of the vanadium mill in Monticello where high grade uranium was processed, and Calvin was a "mucker" who hauled radium-bearing rock out of uranium mines in San Juan County.
Verdonne was OK, but not Calvin. They found themselves at Huntsman Cancer Institute where they learned that Calvin had a particularly vicious lung cancer that doubled in size every 90 days--without immediate treatment, Calvin would not live another six months. Nearly four years later, Calvin and Verdonne are grateful for that "extra time."
It's so hard to watch our friends in these final days together. It's like looking into the future--our future. All I can say is, if Phil and I are so fortunate to have such love, and even one more year together, we will feel blessed, indeed!
This will be Calvin and Verdonne's last Christmas, at least on this earth. It would seem sad if we didn't know that a babe was born in Bethlehem who would become the Savior of the world--a Savior who would give His life for us. Whose ultimate sacrifice and resurrection would make it possible for us to repent and live with Him again.
How grateful I am at this Christmas season for Christ and His gift of eternal life. For the opportunity to have an eternal marriage and know that families can be together forever. I am so thankful that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In our last General Conference, President Uchtdorf said, "Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories. . . . "
"To avoid some of the deepest regrets of our life . . . 1) Resolve to spend more time with those we love, 2) Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be, and 3) Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances" (Ensign, Nov. 2012, pp. 22 & 24).
I'm not waiting for January 1. These are my New Year's Resolutions and I'm starting now!