By RAHN ADAMS
As Timberley posted earlier today on Facebook, the past week has been difficult for her family. Her uncle Larry Brittian and her stepfather Vernon McKee both passed away after long bouts with cancer.
We extend our condolences to Larry’s and Vernon’s families; and our love especially to Timberley’s aunt Brenda and cousins Chris and Leslie, and, above all, to Timberley’s mother, Ruth.
Today, Timberley had a busy morning and early afternoon at the Levine Cancer Institute and the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, with several appointments in preparation for her surgery later this month. Since we live so far away, her surgeon has tried to group most of her appointments to cut down on our trips to Charlotte.
A bright spot last week was hearing the surgeon say that Timberley’s most recent CT scans were good, though those findings don’t change the fact that her bladder must be removed due to her type of cancer. On our way home that day, we enjoyed a late lunch at the Open Kitchen on Morehead Street, one of her late father’s favorite Charlotte restaurants from back in the early 1950s when he lived in the Queen City and began a life-long career in advertising and marketing.
Timberley’s dad, Nat Gilliam, later worked in advertising for 25 years at The News Herald of Morganton, then ended his career as a marketing director for the Western Steer/Mom ‘n’ Pops home office in Claremont. Even though relatively few actual Western Steer Family Steakhouses remain in business under that banner, we found an honest-to-goodness Western Steer still open near Conover and ate there on our way home from another recent appointment.
It’s hard to make this journey without thinking of those loved ones—family members as well as old friends—who traveled the same path before us.