Next month will mark three years since my father passed away from cancer. While it’s true that things do get easier with the passage of time, losing my dad is just something that I don’t think I’ll ever really get over. Even writing this post, I find myself coming to tears. I miss him all the time and sometimes the smallest things will make me suddenly think of him. It is those small things - those things that bring up happy memories of my dad – that help keep his spirit alive in my heart.
Let me tell you about my dad. He was raised on a farm and had to work very hard from an early age. He was so friendly and outgoing – we always joked that he never met a stranger, and if he did, just give him 15 minutes and he would know their life story. He loved to garden and if you stopped by his house during growing season, you would surely leave with a big ol’ sack of fresh vegetables.
My dad was a talented fiddle player and had a passion for bluegrass music. His other passion? His grand kids. My four children meant the world to him and he loved spending time with them. When they were younger, he was always present at their sporting or school events. I can’t tell you how many baseballs he patiently pitched to them in his backyard or how many rides on the lawn mower he gave over the years. He would help them gather nuts off a tree in his yard and then let them smash them with a hammer - they thought it was a blast! If I needed help with carpooling or extracurricular activities, he was always there. When my kids did something especially good - or even something bad or mischievous - he was the first person I wanted to tell. He always got a kick out of their shenanigans and I can still see the twinkle in his eye as he would have a good laugh over something one of the kids did or said. And, another special memory...he always had some butterscotch candy in his pocket for the grand kids.
Now, my children are teenagers. I am thankful that they were able to know their grandpa and spend their younger years with him. But, it saddens me so much that he is not here to see the people they are growing up to be. I know that he would marvel over how tall my boys have become and how my daughter has excelled in school. It would thrill him to see my youngest playing the drums. He would surely be a part of teaching my daughter to drive and helping my oldest son as he tries to figure out his future.
Cancer is such a cruel disease. It can strike anyone, anytime; it can hit suddenly or slowly. In my dad’s case, it was only eight short months from the time he was diagnosed until the time he passed away. I helped take care of him during his illness, from taking him to radiation and chemotherapy appointments, to actually turning him and administering his medication once he became bed-ridden. Seeing how fast he deteriorated was scary. It feels as if he was stolen from us and, honestly, it feels awful!
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based organization that is dedicated to helping those affected by cancer. Whether it’s through early detection or prevention, they are working to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
Check out this American Cancer Society video:
Silence Won't Finish the Fight Against Cancer
On May 22, 2013, the American Cancer Society will turn 100 years old. In the past century, they have led the way in the fight to save lives and create more birthdays. Since the early 1990’s, the American Cancer Society has contributed to a decline in cancer death rates in the United States. They have played a major role in nearly every cancer research breakthrough in recent history. Their work has also helped bring about a 50 percent drop in smoking rates since the 1960's, which has aided in a drop in overall lung cancer death rates.
The American Cancer Society will be promoting this milestone birthday while working to “Finish the Fight” against cancer. Some of the ways they will accomplish this is by making sure that lifesaving cancer research continues to get funded. They will also fight to make sure everyone has access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, and clean air. I'm glad we have an organization like the American Cancer Society working so hard for all of us. They are truly making a difference!
Check out this sponsored video where singer Josh Groban encourages a crowd to make some noise for cancer and “Finish the Fight”…
This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.