Remembering “them” is so important. Al reflected on that, recalling a great line by Mitch Albon.
One of my favorites of his is “Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever?” “If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.”
No matter how many times we heard the word terminal or metastatic or stage 4, I always hoped and thought Leroy would beat the beast. He was the strongest, healthiest guy around. I don’t think I can remember more than a couple of flu’s or colds that stopped him for a day or two. He got so sick down in Nicaragua after eating in a restaurant. He was down there covering a conflict and when the meal was over, he and his crew walked through the kitchen to leave and there was an open sewer line in the middle of the floor. He knew bad things would happen and they did. I always packed powdered Gatorade in his bag and he used every packet and still he suffered from such bad food poisoning. When he got home, ten pounds lighter, the doctor prescribed strong antibiotics and some serious bed rest. That was probably the sickest he’d ever been before the cancer.
He came in contact with so much bad stuff…his international certificate of vaccination card had three added inserts, plus a cholera vaccine certificate. Unfortunately, there was no vaccine for cancer.
And as the disease progressed, the days were filled with more things to do. The pressure to make sure he was comfortable, and as pain free as possible replaced the conversations and card games. We didn’t talk as much and the special words of feelings were lost in the busy time.
24 days after he died I wrote this on the blog: ” It was a good old ’60’s love song. The kind that took you back to those last perfect days of summer. When it was over the DJ on the radio said, “It’s important to say it in the living time. So there are no regrets.”
The “IT” is “I love you.” Say it in the ‘living time.’
How many of us get so wrapped up in the chemo sessions and doctors’ appointments and care-giving, that the ‘I love you’s get lost in the demands of the day?’
What I wouldn’t do to say that once more to Leroy- in the ‘living time.’
I meant it then and I still mean it now.
One more day…