Archived Story

Tick-tock, watching life’s clock

Published 10:48am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A lot can take place over a span of 20 years.

If my basic math skills learned a half-century ago at Woodland-Olney School are correct, 20 years encompasses 7,305 days. Taking that a step further reveals a total of 175,320 hours passed by over a 20-year span.

Life’s clock inside the Bryant household has spun non-stop during that time frame….witnessing events that have caused tears of sadness as well as smiles of pure joy.

In order, I’ve buried a father-in-law, a brother-in-law, my dad, my mom and my sister since 1993. I’ve attended funerals for aunts, uncles and other close family members. I’ve lost childhood friends as well as men and women from the local area I grew up admiring….two of which, John Henry Liverman of Woodland and Ted Deanes of Murfreesboro, passed away just last week.

On the other hand, I’ve experienced plenty of events over the past 20 years that placed a smile on my face. I’ve had the opportunity to watch a beautiful little girl, my daughter Danielle, graduate from high school, become gainfully employed, and mature into a young woman whose kind, caring soul has won the hearts of countless friends; and the love of one particular man.

The clock has recorded the time of holy wedlock for nieces, nephews and close friends. It has also witnessed the birth of the next generation of the Bryant/Vinson family.

But, most of all, the past 20 years have produced an even stronger bond between one man and one woman.

When I married the former Deborah Kaye Vann on a hot, early August day in 1979, I knew at that exact moment it would be a relationship that would stand the test of time. Sure, there have been a few bumps in the road, just like most marriages, but I can honestly say that I have never fallen out of love with the woman who captured my heart over 30 years ago. She has been my rock, so supportive of my career, one that has led her to spend a lot of time alone while I pull a 70-plus hour workweek.

And, thanks to the skillful hands of two surgeons, Deborah is still by my side.

In 1993, I was told the worst news a husband can hear, “Mr. Bryant, you’re wife has cancer.” One week later she underwent a major operation to remove a cancerous growth. The now late Dr. Aftab Qureshi was the man in charge, guided, of course, by God’s hand. Twenty years later, Deborah remains cancer-free.

Last week, Dr. Edouard Misse performed a procedure to remove Deborah’s gall bladder. She has suffered through a few painful battles with gallstones and decided it was best to have this organ removed before things got any worse.

What was so amazing is that the entire process took six and one-half hours. We arrived at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, the same place Dr. Qureshi performed his medical magic years ago, at 5:45 a.m. and were home for lunch. Four tiny incisions and, presto, bye-bye bad gall bladder. Deborah is now home, recovering nicely and thanks to all who have called, sent texts or messaged her on Facebook. Your thoughts and prayers meant a lot of both of us.

When she mends we’ll keep watching life’s clock go by….growing old and more in love together.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

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