Another guest blogger enjoy
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Dad died a year ago. Esophageal cancer. It was a choice he made. No, no, no… not to GET cancer – but to not treat it. The doctors all said it was contained and curable. He just didn’t want to fight it. At the time I couldn’t understand. Not that I do now… but a year’s worth of time does change a person’s opinions. I honestly don’t think he had any idea what he was in store for. Essentially he ‘committed suicide by cancer’. I wrote a blog about it via my friend The Cancer Warrior last October.
Boy, was I pissed when I wrote that. The day after writing it, I bought a one-way ticket to NH from TX to help my Mom help my Dad leaving my two kids at home. We took care of my Dad at home. He died while I was holding his hand. I’m glad I went. I'm glad that some of his last words were to me.
I have no regrets. He, however, did.
The week before he died, my Uncle, Dad’s little brother, came to see him, ‘one last time’.
My Uncle had just been diagnosed with melanoma in his lungs, lymph nodes and various patches on his skin.
His PET scan lit up like a friggin' Christmas tree of the worst kind.
He tried to talk to my Dad, but his cancer had eaten him alive, his voice was essentially gone. But he made sure my Uncle sat close and heard every word he said… He said,
Dad regretted his decision to ‘let nature take its course’. I’m glad he did voice that regret. It made it easier on my family to know that he didn’t want to leave us.
We just discovered last week that my Uncle’s PET scan is now clean. He’s missing part of a lung, all of his lymph nodes and chunks of skin. But, what a small price to pay when you think of the alternative.
Fight, my friends. You are stronger than you know.
As Emerson said, if ‘even one life has breathed easier because you have lived..’ you have had a successful life.
Thanks for the great advice once again, Dad, and please know you indeed lived a successful life and were loved.
About the author: Amy Lord Gonzalezbio:
Transplanted New Hampshire girl, currently residing in the country of Texas. Stay-at-home mom, rock star wife who makes a mean enchilada and still cheers for the Red Sox and Patriots from afar.
contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org