It’s June 16th, NOT just another day.
This is Leroy’s birthday. He would have been 56 years old this year. Instead, I think about this day and realize in one day less than two months from now, it will be three years that he died from colon cancer.
I often wonder what he would be doing at age 56, if things had worked out differently. He was such a solid journalist, I’m thinking he’d still be involved in the business, in some way. He always wanted to give back to those who were struggling to survive in this world. He saw so much of man’s inhumanity to man as he covered war zones around the world….he had hoped to find a comfortable fit that would allow him to make a difference.
So much of the bad stuff he witnessed stayed with him. The images often came back to him in the night. I think the only way he figured he could turn them into shadows, was to face them in the daylight…to bring them aid and comfort, while telling their stories to the world. That would have eased his mind.
I think some of that happened, as he told his own story, fighting his cancer. He lifted the burden of the disease, not just from his own shoulders, but from a community of cancer patients and their caregivers too.
I hope that’s right. I hope he felt that way at some point in his final days.
As each year passes, I find myself understanding more about him and who he was. It’s funny, I thought I knew him backwards and forwards, but as I think about him every day, I discover new parts that made him who he was.
June 16th…NOT just another day.
Happy Birthday Leroy.