The Big 6-2

Leroy E. Sievers

Born June 16, 1955….Turning the BIG 6-2 tomorrow, don’t I wish.

Instead, I’m writing about him tonight and thinking about the ‘what if’s’ of a life cut short two months shy of 9 years ago.

Colon cancer is a nasty cancer.  It brought down a 6-foot 5-inch tower of strength in a hide-and-seek game of “Catch me if you can.”

Some days, we actually thought we were winning the game.  Those were great days too. Leroy had the ability to push cancer away, keep it out of his thoughts.  Instead I’d  hear his deep, booming laugh.  I’d see him hiking in the Grand Tetons or floating in the pool in Maui.

Nothing gave him more pride than putting on a solid, information packed “Nightline” broadcast.  He actually looked forward to planning coverage of a conflict that held a secret spot on a global map, because it meant bringing that spot into your living room and making you aware of a part of the world that needed attention.  It was a challenge he welcomed with gusto.

He also liked the coming home part too.  That was the best part for me, because I always worried that one day all that planning would fall just a little short, and something bad would take the place of seeing him walk through those doors at customs.  But it never happened.

What did happen was an up and down, back and forth tug-of-war with cancer and death.  THAT is a brutal combo to beat. We tried so hard to beat it.

The ‘birthday celebration weeks,’ his favorite grocery store baked cakes, the chicken pies from Moffet’s in California, and so many other birthday traditions adopted over the years are tucked away in my heart now.  I dust them off every June 16th because they make it a better day, an easier day for me to remember.

I will always remember, Leroy.  Happy Birthday


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