Tonight I was going through my personal email before heading home and saw a note about the parent in our class who has been fighting cancer for the last few years. He had been told that he has a few weeks left. I have given this parent and his wife Donald Wilhelm’s book, This Time’s A Charm, and although this parent does not need to read about another person’s cancer I felt that there are many similarities. What made me smile about this particular email was a great little note which made me cry and smile at the same time. It just reminded me about the human spirit and the strength that exhibited when it is faced with death. There is a calmness as well as an inspirational outlook when you investigate.
My father had always told me to try and put myself in the other person’s shoes to understand what they are going through. This was not a difficult one. With two young children of the same age as my own two children, I can just imagine the sadness going through his mind of not being able to see them grow up, not being able to take care f them and his wife, and not wanting to leave too much of a mess behind me. I had first thought that I didn’t want to bother them. I wanted to let them have their last days together and not try and take their kids away to take them off their hands for a couple hours. They didn’t need their kids away from their dad’s last days. They’ve seen him suffering for several years, but now he need to see his sons and give them some last memories of how to live strong. A last lesson that a father can pass to his sons in the hope that it will help them to live without a dad. They later mentioned that he wants his kids with them til the very end. I believe they think this time is very special and they have said more than on one occasion that each minute is a gift and that they are cherishing each one.
What got me over to their house tonight was the email though. In it was a paragraph and some photos ( I’ve received permission to share them):
So……..on XXX’s “bucket List” was a final entry: to enter the Antique Motorcycle Show. On Saturday, (after the hospital visit – and after they had received such devastating news) the family & some neighbors got together and loaded his 1926 Indian onto a trailor and towed it to the show. He was a passenger – and was able to get up & walk around a bit at the show. His Motorcycle won! He did a victory lap at the show, and when he came home – he said he will die a happy man.