When I was in high school I bought a new 12 string guitar. I loved the sound of it. One time I'd been playing the guitar and a group of us had been singing around the fire in the lodge at Camp Keola. I took a break from playing, leaned the neck of the guitar against the coffee table and went to get a cup of coffee. While I was gone, someone bumped the guitar or the table and the guitar fell over. When it hit the floor the neck snapped.
I was sick about that broke-neck guitar. I tried several times to glue it, but the pressure of 12 strings correctly tuned was too much, it kept breaking. I finally compromised on the third fix and tuned the guitar a couple of keys lower than it was supposed to be tuned, but it was never quite right after the big break. It broke again and that was the last straw.
We have been wondering, ever since the cancer diagnosis, just how "broke" Sue really is, or will be. Can she be fixed? Will her tuning be right after the fix? How tight can she be strung? Sue read recently that the average life expectency of people diagnosed with multiple myeloma is five years following the diagnosis. Then again, most people don't get diagnosed with it until they are much older than Sue.
On the other side of the fence from the broke-neck guitar are the several good cars we've owned which have been declared by insurance companies to be a "total loss." Valerie currently drives a 2004 V.W. Jetta that was rear-ended when it had less than 700 miles on it. The insurance company declared the car a total loss and we bought it with a salvage title for a little over $4,000 (the car sold new about a month before that for just under $20,000). We fixed that car back to "just like new" for less than half the cost of the dealer price. Valerie has about 60,000 miles on that car now and it's still going strong.