Yesterday, my younger son Max, who is 28 years old, went to the funeral of a fraternity brother. Actually, the young man, Andrew, had been a member of his pledge class at the University of Michigan.
Andrew, who was also 28 years old, died of Pediatric Brain Cancer. Andrew had battled this disease for over three years and despite two significant rallies the cancer eventually overwhelmed his body. Andrew knew that his death was imminent. His doctors informed him and his family that they no longer had any available means to keep him alive and that at best he should assume that he had only a few weeks left.
Three days prior to his death my son, along with another of his frat brothers visited Andrew to say good-bye. Andrew was no longer able to talk, but somehow they were able to communicate by texting (go figure!).
Andrew had a message for all of us, which I want to share. He told Max that he was very glad because he had 25 great years and 3 years that he described as being mixed. He also said that he was very saddened by the knowledge that there were so many younger kids, 7, 8 and 9 year olds who died and who were going to die from this type of brain cancer. He mourned the fact that these kids would not have the 25 great years he had experienced.
Next time you are feeling down and angry about your condition, remember Andrew’s lesson. Despite our troubles and our difficulties we need to take a breath and appreciate all that we do have and all that we have experienced in out much longer life.
May Andrew’s memory be a blessing!