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Guys, I posted a little less than a month ago about how impressed I was with Scott Drew given my new vantage point of seeing him suddenly as someone like me--a son watching a parent struggle with a battle with cancer. I can't say my experience is going to have a happy ending, but I wanted to share something I will treasure always.
First, the bad and then the amazing. I type this tonight as I essentially said goodbye to my Dad for the last time today. 2 months ago, I dropped him off at DFW Airport for a flight out of town, so he could get back to his job. Like a lot of guys, his job was his hobby. He worked, he exercised and he slept--that was about it. Unknown at the time was that he was in full blown Stage 3B lung and lymph node cancer. Like a lot of proud guys his age (75), he doesn't like doctors visits and simply blamed the telltale signs of serious problems (lack of energy and a 45 lb. weight loss) on getting old. What could be wrong, he thought--I'm swimming every day without a problem!
Well, He finally gave in and went to the doctor when he could no longer get around the grocery store. First, an X-Ray. Then a biopsy. Then a CT Scan. All showing a major problem. Plus, he had lost all of his strength. I somehow got him onto a plane and we traveled from Massachusetts to Houston to get to MD Anderson. They are the best of the best and my family and I will always be grateful, but we were far too late. He tried his best given the treatment options available, but he was too weak to keep up with radiation...he hurt too much, battled just to keep his vitals ok, so 6 weeks of radiation were impossible.
Just days ago, we hit the inevitable--the treatments would need to stop. He gave it his best, but even the toughest guys lose a battle every once in a while. So, for the last few days, as the cancer began hitting him even more aggressively, I talked with him about everything I wanted to--thanked him for raising us in a church going and God-fearing home, about his legacy of great kids and grand kids and just told him I loved him. Should have said the latter a lot more, but that probably fits all of us.
One passion we have always shared is sports. I'm a Red Sox and Pats fan, while he grew up rooting for the Yankees and NY Giants. But where we always agreed just on the love of competition, was March Madness. We went to a regional when I was a kid and we watched David Robinson and Pearl Washington play. Watched Richmond beat a Bobby Knight coached Indiana team that time...pretty cool.
We'd talk hoops throughout the years and most especially the last few weeks. He had no choice but to watch a lot of Baylor hoops...he sent me there, so he had to. But we really never caught any of his college's games. Small school, small conference. But I learned last week that his college, Lehigh, had made the Big Dance. He had gone to countless Lehigh games over the years, but they were never big games I talked with him about it constantly this week and it always drew a reaction. He hasn't been able to speak clearly for several days, but I kept on telling him about Lehigh playing Duke. He'd let me know he knew somehow. Soon, he'll be placed in a state of sedation he'll never leave--he needs peace and his Savior is calling him home. But before he does, which could be anytime now, Lehigh performed a miracle and beat Duke. Frankly, I'll always look at it as a minor miracle God gave us. A memory that somehow the biggest-and only--Lehigh fan and grad I know- put in a good word with the Lord in advance of heading his way by throwing a winto LU. I'll never look at March Madness the same way again. I'll never know how he pulled off this upset as a way to remember him on his way to Heaven, but I have to say I'm impressed. Thanks for indulging me...it's good therapy tonight.
This post has been edited 8 times, most recently by BearVerdad on 3/17/2012 at 5:46 AM
God bless you and your dad. Thank you for posting this.
Thank you for sharing that. May God bless you and your family.
Amen. May God watch over your father and all of your family during this difficult time.
Thank you for sharing. It's incredibly touching. Prayers to you and your family.
Prayers to you and your family. Very touched by your story...thanks for posting.
Two years ago I was driving back from the win over St. Marys to put BU in Elite 8. My sons D2 team had llost in Florida so he was home for Spring Break. We were driving back to Austin so we called my 90 year old dad who lived in South Bend, Indiana from the car. We were all very happy. My dad was very mobile and traveled on his own, amazing at 90. As about the only Southern Baptist living within 500 miles of Notre Dame, he loved and followed BU. He went to a small school in the Northeast called Rider, who occasionally makes it to the tourney.
The night of the call, he had a big heart attack. With 24 hours we were there rubbing his head while he passed. The Duke game is still a fog to me. This sounds made up but it's not. The last two things he said to me was "I love you" and then a question "How did the (BU) girls do? The girls were on way to final four. I literally used to call my dad every day for a minute or two to talk sports. I miss him greatly and feel for the pain your going through.
What a blessing you have had to have your Dad. I will keep your family in my prayers as well. Take care.
Pro Ecclesia, Pro Mundus
Thanks for sharing Bearverdad. God be with you during this difficult time.
Thanks for sharing. Wishing Lehigh the best of luck today and prayers for you and your family.
Your name's Lebowski, Lebowski. Your wife is Bunny.
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