From the time she was little and sported a head full of red hair, she was a living doll. I remember well a much-anticipated family dinner when my sister, her husband, and their two children, came back from California where they had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.
We sat around the table and my niece asked for "chicken corn". Confused looks all around until my sister explained that her tiny daughter equated fried drumsticks with corn on the cob. I have never forgotten "chicken corn".
Another time, my sister brought her little ones into our father's cafe and she asked her Papa for a cheese sandwich without the bread. From then on, I fondly associated sliced American cheese as a sandwich without bread.
Time passed, my favorite niece grew into a lovely woman with two children of her own. she's a fine mother; her kids love her; she has a husband who adores her. In fact, we all adore her. And we are proud of her. She's been successful. In high school she was a cheerleader for the Fighting Jackrabbits of Lonoke High School, Lonoke, Arkansas (and was a classmate of Paula Jones, from the Clinton years.) She was a beauty queen; she was beloved by her classmates. She went on to college, then law school and is an attorney for the Supreme Court of the State of Arkansas.
Just before Christmas 2012 she received bad news. Breast cancer had invaded her otherwise healthy, trim, fit and well cared for body. A few short days before Christmas she underwent a double mastectomy and is now receiving chemotherapy treatments to be followed by radiation because of the type of cancer she has. It is one that can reappear at any time anywhere in her body.
She's had two treatments and her hair is gone. Long strands fells out so she's done the G.I. Jane thing. I've knit her several chemo caps, as has my good friend, Sandy. She complains of feeling cold. I'll knit her a lap afghan. I'd rather give her a hug.
My favorite niece is sick. I live 1200 miles away in Colorado. My heart is sick. And all she's asked from me is to keep up the "knee mail". So I'm spending time on my knees for my favorite niece.
If you think about it, would you shoot up a prayer or two on Favorite Niece's behalf? She'd really appreciate it!
I find it odd that a young woman who has done the Race for the Cure more times than I can remember is now fighting the good fight to get her own cure.
By the way, Favorite Niece, is my first niece and until the birth of her daughter, my only familial niece. So now you see one of the reasons why she's my favorite....