Cancer is a fickle gift. It is an invisible monster that lurks in places you cannot see; its tentacles are far reaching, and once they take hold it is nearly impossible to stop.
Cancer will rip your heart out and leave you dropped on your knees begging for mercy. And, this is coming from someone who loved the fighter in the battle, not the warrior himself. But, cancer does not always have to win; even in death we can beat it.
When I have the courage, I can see cancer as a gift. It allowed me to say goodbye to my dad for two years. In those two years, I grew more in love with my father. I saw how strong he really was, from the inside out. He may have not always been strong physically, but he was immensely strong in spirit, in soul, in character, in love and in life.
Cancer gave him permission to express how much he loved us, and us the gift of showing him exactly how much we loved him. It became okay to hug more, linger longer, hold hands, and kiss on foreheads...cancer gave that to us.
Cancer will humble you. It will force you to look beyond what you see with your eyes. It forces you to seek what's in your heart and to say those words that sometimes get stuck on the tip of your tongue.
What I witnessed tonight at my father's visitation was nothing less than the purest form of love. Those who loved him, my mother, my brothers, my family, and I, waited for hours just to help bid him farewell. He deserved nothing less than that, but he also earned that love; without even trying to.
So, goodbye, Dad...I hope that you are dancing in the heavens and looking down on what transpired tonight. You are so loved by so many.
Until we meet again...thank you for the memories and thank you for the gift of having the honor to love you.