You’d have to have been hiding under a rock the last few days to have not been touched by Kay Yow’s return to the NC State bench and big wins, including Friday night’s shallacking of UNC-Chapel Hill on Senior night in Reynolds Coliseum.
Check that. Not just Reynolds Coliseum…but at newly named ‘Kay Yow Court’ at Reynolds Coliseum.
These stories are MUST READS for everyone.
Friends told her to rest and return to coaching next year. “But I have Stage 4 cancer. There is nothing that assures me that next year I could do it any more than I could now,” Kay Yow said.
Shortly before Valvano died 14 years ago, Yow attended a Wednesday mass with him. Afterward, they went to a breakfast place Valvano liked. They talked about faith and life and death.
Yow’s mother fought cancer for nearly six years and did not respond well to treatments. Almost every Sunday afternoon of her adult life, Yow would drive to Gibsonville and eat dinner with her family. Her mother’s illness changed that.
Lib Yow, Kay’s mother, and Valvano ended up one floor apart at a Raleigh hospital in their dying days. At night, Kay would sit by her mother’s bed. When her mother went to sleep, Yow would go upstairs and sit with Valvano’s family outside his room. Valvano died a few months before Yow’s mother.
“There’s no secret answer to this,” Yow said. “Just let Him be in control. I’d like to be in control, but He’s in control. If His final say is that I don’t make it, as long as I know it’s His say, then I know it’s right.”
Near the end of his life, Valvano gave the world his message of hope, explaining that cancer could take his body but not his mind, his heart and his soul.
Yow has a copy of that speech and has seen it several times — but not recently.
Her favorite part, she said, is when a stage manager tries to hurry Valvano off the stage. He responds, saying: “That screen is flashing up there 30 seconds like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I’m worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds, huh?”
Yow laughed softly at the memory, the tissue at her eyes again.
“I know how he felt ,” she said.