A Great Day

Screw you, cancer. Today was a great day.

Spent time with my cousin today. And you know what? It was fabulous.

If you haven’t read the post before this, he’s been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. And, well, the prognosis isn’t good.

He lives two hours away, so we don’t see each other incredibly often, but we communicate multiple times a week.

We’d been wanting to play golf at least one more time this year, and we were able to do that today. As it turned out, I was home with the kids in the morning, so I decided to take the entire day, and Michael agreed to come down.

After a good morning of playing outside in the leaves and such, I went over to meet Michael and his brother, my cousin, Jim. Because the weather was so nice today (nearly 70), they started golf before I would be able to get there, so I met them at the turn and played the final 9.

We had a blast. It was quality. It wasn’t so much bonding as it just ‘was’. We talked about cancer. A lot, actually. And we joked about it.

Michael and I have a pact. If we talk about it, we try to laugh. You might not think any of this is funny, but we did.

I told him I was glad he came down to play. And, keep in mind, where we played is where we grew up. So this is home, really.

He made some reference to this being the ‘farewell tour.’ I told him that I hope he ends up like Kiss or The Who and that the ‘farewell tour’ goes on for years and makes multiple stops to every city.

We also played a little competitively and it was fun, when he had to make a short putt, to say, “oh, no, there are no cancer gimmies — make the putt.” Of course, he did.

And, not that I need to be quoting country songs, but one time, after he hit two great shots in a row, I said, “jeez, michael, you are living like you’re dying.”

After golf, we went out for a couple of drinks. Then, he was visiting his parents for a bit and I came home to help get the kids ready for bed.

We then met up for more drinks and dinner, primarily because the three of us had been talking about ribs and the decision was made to go get some. So we did.

And there we were. Three cousins sitting at the bar. Drinking beer. Eating ribs. And, to some strange extent, celebrating life.

Know that none of the humor was meant in poor taste. Know that it’s the way we are dealing with it. And know that there were some very emotional things said to each other, too.

We spoke a lot about my dad’s experiences. We talked about my brother’s death. We talked about treatment. We talked about how he told  his kids. We talked about what scares him. We talked about what scares us.

No matter the seriousness, we always found a way to break the tension with a good laugh.

I really don’t know how many more days I’ll have like this with Michael. That’s not being morbid. It’s just being factual. For me, it’s more quality than quantity.

And, following that mantra, there’s only one thing to say about today.

It was a great day.

6 Comments on “A Great Day”

  1. carrie121870 says:

    Smile, laugh, cry, hug, whatever the emotion just feel it together. Don’t worry about what others think about how you deal with this. We all do ‘this’ differently and for you, as with me, laughter helps. It is not a dismissal of the gravity of the situation, it is an acceptance. Once you accept, you can move beyond the shock and the ‘why him’ to the good times. No matter what the time it is quality over quantity.

    Share the time, enjoy each other and know that in your moments today regardless of the outcome You’ve WON! Cancer did not beat you or Michael or Jim today because you laughed (literally) in the face of it. You made memories that will last, you talked about it, faced it, and together will move forward.

    Mike, please let your family and friends help you along this journey. It is not an easy one for Michael or for you. He’s Your Guy, it will hurt. But you love and you laugh and in that, you can draw strength and smile.

    Your day was definitely a GREAT day!

  2. JenBun says:

    I am SO glad to read about you guys having such a great day.

    Cherish each and every one… it sounds great! 🙂

  3. Sara says:

    And that is the part of you cancer can never touch.

  4. I am so happy you had such a fulfilling day with your cousins – you shared something that cancer can’t steal and you walk away with memories that will last a lifetime.

  5. Melissa says:

    Family is the best. I’m so glad that I, like you, am friends with my cousins. They are some of the best, funniest people in the world and, since we’ve known each other from the beginning, we have a lot shared experiences that will be with us forever.

    I’m happy for you and your cousins that you shared a day like this.

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