LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Because of what we’d both experienced, we knew things that we didn’t know before — lessons in the fragility of life, in the importance of not letting beauty go unappreciated. We talked about how life was unfair and how this was hard and we wanted things to just go back to normal. When things got really scary, Dianna told me she would whisper the word “grateful” in her mind, stretch it out and say it as slowly as she could until she felt calm again. Leave it to Dianna to focus on gratitude while in the center of a storm.
But seven weeks ago, Dianna’s life changed again. She had found a doctor in California willing to remove her tumor using a procedure that would be less damaging to her brain. The procedure was a complete success and today she is cured. Life is no longer on pause for Dianna Milam.
So last week, when I showed up with my basket of goodies, she was hungry. We whipped up some scrambled eggs with plenty of cream, buttered toasted, fried sausages. We sat in her lovely kitchen overlooking the woods and we talked about the surgery and her recovery, how she wanted to spread the word about endoscopic brain surgery, how William was doing. And then something truly remarkable happened. We talked about the stuff normal people talk about: work and vacations, house renovations and recipes, where to buy seafood online, where to get the hand soap she has in her bathroom. And never, ever has breakfast tasted so good.