A Great DayPosted: November 6, 2008
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.