Monday, June 25, 2007

Pearls of Wisdom

Recently, my wife, Wendy, and I lost someone very special to us, Wendy’s Mom, Sandy, who was just shy of a three year battle with uterine cancer. During the final stages of her battle, as we spent time with her, I thought about some pearls of wisdom I have picked up over the past 28 years with Camp Good Days and Special Times and I thought I would share them with you.

The first is that the two most important times in our life…the exact moment when we take our first breath and enter this world, and the exact moment when we take our last breath and leave the world as we know it…are the two moments that we have no control over.

Secondly, I remember reading a study that had been conducted with terminally ill cancer patients, asking them what they were most afraid of. I, like most others I think, thought their biggest fear would be dying. The physical act of dying was a distant third. The first was the fear of being in excruciating pain at the time of death and the second was being alone at the time of death. When dealing with a loved one facing a terminal illness, it is important that we do everything humanly possible to alleviate these fears; keep them from experiencing excruciating pain; and assuring them that they will not be alone at the time of their death.

Finally, the greatest gift that we have with those we love is our memories, as those are what is left behind and remain unchanged forever. The memories are what we carry in our hearts and minds and it is so important that we try and build some memories that we can keep with us always.

I truly believe that Sandy is in a better place and free from all of the pain and ravishing effects of this horrible disease, and I take comfort in knowing that our family kept her free from excruciating pain and that she was not alone at the time of her death. We will always carry our special memories of Sandy in our hearts.