August 2, 2009,
I arrive in scituate Friday to spend time with my brother in law Alan, who is fighting the battle of BRAIN CANCER. I cannot begin to tell you the thoughts that were running through my mind when I saw him. The moment our eyes met he had this big fantastic smile on his face, and his arms reached out to hug me. Gosh, I said to myself. “This is what it’s all about” My heart became overwhelmed with a sense of joy – I took a moment to look at the reflection of my son watching. I was glad to be there to spend a moment with him. We laughed about all things relavent to the day. Alan continued to have that wonderful sense of humor he always displayed prior to his illness. Something special that he got from his mom. All the kids have it. He can tell a joke in a minute, with a straight face and then just burst out into a big laugh. His speech now is slurred , but if you get close to hear him, he gives you a quick kiss on the cheek and tell you how wonderful you are. He is quick with a comment of love and just wonderful wisdom.
My son who is now seventeen came along to spend time with Uncle Al (We call him Big Al) I saw some wonderful changes in my son. Those changes I have seen before are when others are in need, he leaps into action. I found him offering to help a stranger who came to visit with Alan. I saw a wonderful – un teenage like behavior come out. He really recognized that it wasn’t about him. He learned something new yesterday. I could tell without a doubt. As he stared at someone facing certain death – he acknowledge his place in the moment that Alan was so brave. Some people who came to visit surprised me, while others did not. I met wonderful people who came to see Alan and help where they could. Lynda K. a breath of sunshine has been spending lots of time with Alan. Taking care of all the things that need to be done – while others are taking care of the other needs of the house. Mark and Debbie long time friends stopped by to pay a visit. Mark decided that Alan would need a ramp for his wheel chair. He built one on the spot and placed so that it worked beautifully for both Alan and his mom. Loving and caring people kept coming to sharing themselves with Alan. They for me shared their God like qualities with all of us. For me it is a double blessing. They are teaching my son wonderful things in so many wonderful ways. I have come to love all the things that come along with this amazing journey. Being married to a man who is loving and caring makes me realize each and every day the blessings that I have. None of them do I take for granted. There are some people that come in to your life for a brief moment to teach you something perhaps about yourself. Alan is a true teacher of nature, love and laughter. So for the moment this is our life now. If you know someone who has a terminal illness, love them now, more than before. Because tomorrow may not come again for them. I am home now and I find myself wanting to be back there with him, holding his hand and telling him that it will be alright.