This isn’t about trying to tell people how to live their lives or what you should do with your life. I’m no better than anyone that might read this post; certainly no saint or martyr. I’m as lost as you, forced to spend way too much of my day trying to determine if I’m even a good husband, role model for my kids or even a just friend.
My father was a great man. Honest and gentle, hard-working and fair. A moral compass for all in increasingly treacherous seas. He prided himself on characteristics that seem to be lost on many today. He didn’t just save lives, he changed them. It’s a daunting task to compare yourself to a man that always took the highroad, always did the right thing, and always wanted to be better. Despite his humility, his stature was of such magnitude that his shadow stretched for miles.
The reality is, much like too many other people, I’m just a man that had to watch someone special slowly fade away as a result of a horrible disease.
But this isn’t the time or place for another telling of my dad’s greatness. We’ve penned words for papers and speeches and have done our best to laugh about the memories we hold so dear and now so tightly.
I’m not asking for sympathy or condolences. I usually use this space to champion bands and promote the arts. Ask you to click a link and pay for an album that I feel is important. Today, I’m begging you to use those dollars to help find a cure.
What we went through was awful. My dad was robbed of his mind, the one thing a physician and perpetual learner values more than almost anything. His body was broken, and amazingly, it was supposed to be worse. He fought with everything he had, and for almost a year we were naively fooled into thinking maybe he could be the miracle that the doctors said would be needed to make it to two years.
I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that. I can’t imagine what was going on inside my dad’s mind over these last few months, but I know what it felt like to have to see a man slowly fade away.
So today, I’m asking you to look in your wallet. Earmark five dollars and donate it to cancer research. There are hundreds, if not thousands of centres doing vital, great work. Find one, and give. It’s one beer, one coffee, or one bus ride you could skip and enjoy walking in the beautiful fresh air. It could also be the five dollars that stops you from ever having to write a note like this.
I’m riding 200km to raise money for cancer research. If herohill has ever meant anything to you, if you’ve ever found a band that helped you through heartbreak, or loss. If we’ve ever soundtracked a night or personified your love, donate. Please.
To donate to the Ride to Conquer Cancer, click here.
Here’s a song from one of my favorite bands. Jonas wrote an album to help him deal with his dad’s passing, and it’s as powerful a listen as you will find. Reflective, sad, and still, somewhat hopeful. It’s helped me more than you can imagine over these last few months.