posted on December 19, 2012 10:30
Happy Wednesday everyone.
If you have the time, visit McKernan's column and give it a good read and digestion. It's the season of hope, after all.
Personally, I've gone through similar trials and tribulations over the past eight weeks. Not me physically, but my family.
My Dad - who is the greatest man I have ever known (and unrelated, a classmate with Mr. McKernan in high school) - was diagnosed with leukemia the first week of November. It was a shocking development and one that is impossible to plan for. It was a blow that knocked the wind out of me on the first Friday in November.
Once it happens and you find out, you're stricken with it too. Cancer affects everyone.
You have a couple of choices at the point of acceptance and the realization that your life and your relationship with your father and family is never going to be the same again. You can sulk and feel sorry for yourself, your family and your Dad. Or you can vow to do everything in your power to face the challenge head-on and live life to the fullest to ensure the best experience possible for everyone.
Obviously "the best experience possible" still sucks because no one wants to see someone they love be stuck in a hospital bed for months with catheters and tubes coming in and out of their body. And no one in any right mind enjoys going to the hospital daily to see their Dad stuck in a hospital bed, unable to do simple things like walk outside and feel the warmth of the sunshine. But you do you what you have to do and accept it.
During one of my visits to Dad in the hospital, I left him a picture on the wall in his room. It's a picture of me as an eight year old getting ready to "wrestle" my cousin. It was a fitting picture to leave with him because it was taken while we were on vacation. During these vacations, we travelled to Bull Shoals Lake with his entire family. Naturally, he's right behind me in the photograph.
Two days after my parents gave me the news, I was enthralled by one of the games I love .. the NFL. It wasn't a play on the field. It was a visit from Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano to his team. Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia in September and hasn't been on the sidelines all season.
But on the same weekend I was living with the news that Dad had leukemia, Pagano paid a visit to his team. The Colts won that day 23-20 over the Dolphins. After the victory, Pagano talked to his players.
"You refused to live in circumstances," he said. "But you decided as a team and as a family to live in the vision ... that's why you're already champions."
"My vision that I'm living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings and then hoist that Lombardi several times!"
"I'm dancing at two more weddings and we're hoisting that trophy together. Congratulations. I love all of you"
It was awesome. And I craved a similar moment for my family's circumstances.
Through the power of positive thinking, faith, prayer and the will to live and defeat the illness, Dad was declared 100% remission after the first round of chemotherapy. This news made not celebrating Thanksgiving out traditional way a little easier to stomach.
There are still hurdles to overcome. He's in round two of chemotherapy right now, and will have several more treatments before we hit the month of March, 2013.
What that means is the best is yet to come.
This week my mind has been absent from work and play. All I want to do is celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. I can't wait until the weekend. It's going to be a dream and hope realized.
In light of the events that took place last Friday in Newtown and the circumstances surrounding Dad and my family, give those you love an extra hug and handshake. Enjoy life and enjoy the holiday with the people you love. Life is fragile and is in fact, too short.
It's funny because I wondered what I was going to write about today and then it hit me like a sack of potatoes.
What the hell, let's celebrate life.