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Rebekah Rosie Lang

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Juneria
By Rebekah Rosie Lang
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

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How my choir teacher has become my best friend and a source of inspiration while I battle my brainstem lesion and hydrocephalus and now a new diagnosis of stroke.

This is an odd sounding name, Juneria. I cannot even pronounce the syllables out for you on how to pronounce it; just know that the person this name goes to is/was my teacher and she taught me a great deal about music and spiritual faith! I have used what she has taught me in my own times of need when I was diagnosed with a brainstem lesion on May 4th, 1989 and a possible stroke on August 12th, 2003.


 I met Juneria on the first day of 6th grade in choir. I was really interested in music since I had taken piano lessons for the prior year. Therefore, because I could read music, I got to be the "page turner" for the piano accompiant because I was the ONLY one that would know where the music was with the choir! When I was in 6th grade the year was 1980 to 1981. The choir was made up of boys and girls. I felt special because I was the "page-turner". It gave me a lot of self-confidence which is what I needed at that time in m y life. (that is another story for you to read!)


Juneria was the teacher for 6th, 7th and 8th grade choir. One day, after she found out where I lived, she asked me if I would babysit. I told her an astounding "Yes!, very excitedly!" Turned out, she lived one street behined me, on Timberline South. Juneria had one daughter who was 5 years younger than me. She was a doll who never caused me any problems!


I had choir every year and continued with piano lessons. I absolutely loved and enjoyed having Juneria! She taught me how to sight read and everything! She brought out the best in me! She called me and asked me to babysit a lot too which helped a lot at home because we had to have money for the electric bill during the Texas heat Wave of 1980. The electric bill was always high anyway. During the heat wave the electric company actually came out and turned off our electricity! Can you believe that?!?!?! Anyway, back to MORE important matters like Music which is my first love and passion. Music is my essence of being, it is the essence of life! I sing music and listen to it and record it off the radio. Then, of course, I play the piano and guitar. I need to learn how to play the clarinet though.


I saw a lot of Juneria at home since I babysat and would be involved with her daily happennings at times. I would spend a lot of time with her daughter for Juneria went on to continue her education and get a Masters from TWU and then she evetually got her Doctorate. While she moved up getting her Masters she moved up to teach choir at the High School Level in Grapevine. I also moved on up to Grapevine High School and joined Treble Chorus and Accapella choir. My senior year, I started skipping my last period of classes so I could go to a shelter in Ft. Worth and be with a counselor and discuss how I was being sexually abused and raped as a child. I was trying to get the feelings out. I had to find someone to trust and so I decided on Juneria and so I told her in her office one day when I got detention and could not excuse my absence in class any more.When I was done telling her, she just smiled and said, "You finally told me".


She said she knew I was being abused back in 6th grade the very first day she saw me but she said she could not do a thing so she kept her mouth shut and just became my friend and involved me in her life and hoped I would tell her in time. God bless her!


She said it is in the eyes because she has been there too.We talked and prayed for the next hour while the assistant accompianst, Mike McCuistion, directed and played the piano for the choir, Accapella. Well, the energy between Juneria and I really started to "flow" between us and I started to "adopt" her as a 2nd Mom over the next few days which has lasted over 14 years to this day! It will never end! She has always reminded me that I have a REAL MOM, but she did not mind taking the place of "Mom" for a few hours every now and then. She lived behind me so I could actually WALK to her house! Her husband was very nice to me. He and Juneria divorced last year however. I will not comment any further on that subject. Juneria would just talk to me about having to have faith and believing in yoursaelf! She would stress things over and over again to me.


Juneria and The Ohlhauts were the first families I knew that were Catholic. My Mom brought me up to think Catholics were bad. The Ohlhauts never really talked about their faith. Juneria and her family ALWAYS went to church, every Sunday though. She would pray every time I would call about an upcoming surgery or MRI. Her unending faith and virtue about going to church and the fact that she was Catholic made a New thinker out of me!


You see, I am from Texas and native born. However, I went to college out-of-state. After my freshaman year, in May 1989, they discovered a brainstem lesion which caused hydrocephalus and therefore I had to have a shunt put in. I have had 14 shunt(brain) revisions and one crainiotmy on September 3rd, 1997 when they took the brainstem lesion out. However, as of August 12th, 2003 since I had the new MRI to check things a second time because the neurosurgeon thought I was too young for a stroke, he called tonight and it is conclusive I have a tumor and a bleed which is warning signs of a stroke. I had surgery, of course.


Well, the year is now October 2004 and in August of 2004 we discovered that I have a Skull Lesion over the parietal lobe.It is on the outside of the brain, yet underneath the skin. I am told by 2 different doctors to "leave it alone" and it should do nothing. Yet, it is a sitting time bomb on my brain. It may not do anything for years and years, or it could continue to grow. From Jan.21, 2003 when it was the size of a piun-prick, to August 9, 2004,. it is now the size of a penny! I would call that growth! I do not have problems though, I am worried about Juneria.


Her brain just started to bleed about 6 weeks ago and she went to see a neurosurgeon and I have not heard from her since. I am very scared. Juneria is so important to me. I love her so.


 

       Web Site: Poetic Harmony

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Reviewed by Peter Paton 10/16/2004
This is a very brave and inspiring story Becca..
You are such an angel...and i would concur with the two doctors Becca..forget about that brain lesion on the outside of the skull..it is harmless there...even if it has grown a bit...I would just treat it as part of you , like a cyst or mole....carry on as normal.!!!..

I hope Juneria is alright now too..
Love
Peter
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 8/15/2003
so glad you have juneria to help you, but am so sorry to hear you had a stroke. yes, you are too young to have a stroke, but remember..you are NOT alone, and many young people have strokes. i wrote one about a little girl, aged 8 then (she is now 10 1/2, going on 11) who had a stroke, but she has since recovered, and i also wrote one about a little boy (about the same age as the little girl when she had hers) who also had a stroke. i know all too well the fear strokes can cause; as my mom had two, and she was quite disabled for a while. thank god it was a mild one, but it sure changed her personality and her ability to get around; she wasn't as fast as she used to be. (she has since died, not from the stroke, per say, but she had diabetes for years, and she had open heart surgery, and then had complications. she died from this. she was only 59 1/2; she would have been 60 in may, she died in march. that was 13 years ago, and i still miss her terribly to this day. you are in my prayers, and i hope you feel better soon. (((HUGS))) and love, your friend in burleson, karen lynn. :( >tears <



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