Memories are the treasured gift of sister's birthday surprise


September 23, 1996|By Lyn Backe | Lyn Backe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TWO WEEKS AGO I had the joy of seeing my younger sister's face as my older sister, my daughter and I marched up her porch steps as a surprise for her 50th birthday. It will remain one of my all-time favorite memories.

Contributing to the surprise was the distance between us. The porch steps are in Oregon, my daughter calls Washington State home, and we two older folks are from Maryland.

It was a little less than 48 hours of delight: uproarious laughter, happy tears and my only prenatal visit with my first grandchild.

We ate wonderfully, drank reasonably but richly and nobody yelled. I don't think anybody even wanted to, though a couple of us did bite our tongues during political discussions.

Before I left, my husband congratulated me on not having let the price of a plane ticket get in the way of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will remember that praise and embrace the memories of that wonderful weekend. I highly recommend the investment.

Breast cancer education

One of the treasures of that weekend was the presence of my older sister, a breast cancer survivor of nearly 15 years who is healthy now, working one job, running a business with her husband, enjoying her children and grandchildren and celebrating life.

It seems, however, that awareness of the disease isn't keeping pace with the knowledge that is available. Anne Arundel Medical Center confronts the information gap during National Breast Cancer Month in October with many programs and opportunities for women and their families to learn.

"Breast Cancer: A Portrait of Survival" is an exhibit that focuses on 30 Anne Arundel County women who have overcome breast cancer. The exhibit's goal is to demonstrate that breast cancer is treatable, that women do survive and that regular breast self-exams and mammograms are essential to detect the disease early. The exhibit will run Oct. 12-18 at the Nordstrom end of Annapolis Mall.

The medical center will offer reduced-cost or free mammograms next month for qualified women over age 40. Information: 224-5770.

The medical center will sponsor "Moving Forward in Breast Health," a town meeting, at 6 p.m. Oct. 16. The evening will be devoted to the most-recent research, treatment, services and legislative initiatives related to breast cancer, with smaller group sessions on stress management, diet and exercise. The evening is open to all, but participation in some workshops is limited and requires advance registration. Information: 573-5490.

Opera preview

The Annapolis Opera launches its 1996-1997 season Nov. 1, but, in an appropriately theatrical gesture, the company will offer a preview at 5 p.m. Sunday at Annapolis Yacht Club.

Opera lovers can enjoy a wine buffet, meet members of the company and enjoy highlights from "Madame Butterfly," scheduled for Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, and "The Merry Widow," scheduled for May 9 and May 11, 1997. The Annapolis Opera also presents musicales and sponsors a children's program and a respected vocal competition.

Tickets to the Annapolis Opera preview are $35. Parking is available, and the club has elevator access.

Information: 263-2710.

Pub Date: 9/23/96

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