Friday, December 3, 2010

Tougher Issues

Recently I was moving some old emails around and I came across one from a very good friend.

I read the email again and one thing struck me with an incredible sadness. It was a statement that he made because he was dealing with what he thought at the time was Bell's Palsy. The statement was:

"but whatever, it reminds you that other people deal with much tougher issues than this."

What makes this statement so profound and filled with sadness is that he died three months later of a brain tumor. The tumor was obviously to blame for the paralysis in his face, but he was not aware until a few months later. When he was finally diagnosed with a stage IV tumor it was already too late and he died less than a month later.

I have every bit of confidence when I say had he known what he was actually facing when he sent the email he would have still made that statement. He was that type of person. Even in the midst of his hospital stay he still had his humility and his sense of humor. 

I wonder sometimes why life is like that. He was one of the greatest people I have ever known. When you were feeling down he would always be there to pick you up. When you needed a laugh you could always talk to him and he would make you smile. I spent many weekends going to his house, spent a lot of time with him and his family.
The first time my wife met him he had us shooting bb guns in his backyard at 3 AM after a 30 hour drive from California, and I never did stop laughing. 

At his funeral we were all asked to stand up and tell a story about our lives together and I had so many to tell although many of them were not family friendly, but they were all some of the best times I have had in my life.

It has been almost a year since all this happened. It was Christmas Eve when he was first admitted to the hospital which he would never end up leaving. A time when we were all getting ready with our families, wrapping presents, and waiting for the Jolly fellow to climb down our chimney, and he was being admitted after having his second seizure in two weeks.
 
I decided this Christmas I am going to send his son a gift. I want him to have a great Christmas, especially since this will be his first after losing his father. Of course I am sure that is what my friend was thinking about when he knew he was dying. He thought the world of his wife and son, and wanted to make sure they would be taken care of.

I dont know if I would have been as strong as he was, or still be able to smile and laugh, if I had to deal with what he went through, but I do remind myself...

"that other people deal with much tougher issues than this."

9 comments:

  1. A very thoughtful and moving post. I'm sorry for your loss but glad you were able to have such a friend. That you have so many great memories is a really good thing. As someone who lost their father at a young age, I know your thinking of his son will mean a great deal to the boy.

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  2. Very moving post indeed. It's true that other people have a tougher time, but what's important is to live life like there's no tomorrow and make lasting memories. ((hugs))

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  3. Amazing statement and so true.
    I think your an awesome friend for making the effort.

    You have truly grasped the true meaning of Christmas. Small acts of kindness.

    SO glad to see you back good friend.

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  4. “We don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.”
    -Randy Pausch (1960-2008), The Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon

    I came across this quote today and thought of you. It sounds as if your friend lived well, and be extension, lifted you up quite a bit as well. None of us are promised a single tomorrow and I consider it a gift to be reminded of this indisputable fact regularly.

    All the best,
    Ivey

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  5. Such a great, yet sad post. I am so happy you had someone like him touch your life. Thank you for sharing this.
    ~Emmy

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  7. So sorry for your loss, but what a moving post. I think his son will love that you sent a gift.

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  8. This really does put things into perspective. You are right B.B. This story is so sad but thank you for posting it.

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