Yeah, yeah…I know. It’s been a couple weeks since my last blog posting. Please accept my apologies. As is always the case, life and work have interfered with me sharing thoughts and spreading awareness about melanoma.
Speaking of thoughts, I’ve had a few random ones during my blogging absence. Here are a few updates and brief thoughts from the last two weeks.
· I visited my dad in West Virginia last week. It was my first trip back “home” since my brother’s funeral. While I have a few friends and relatives in the same area, I decided merely to spend time with Dad…and to have him spend rare time with his grandkids. We all went fishing at the local park (each kids caught three), played in his back yard, and generally enjoyed our time. It was far too short, but it was time well spent. I hope to see other relatives and friends during my next visit.
· My wife, kids and I visited my brother’s site. His wife Debbie had purchased a very nice headstone. It is in the shape of a bench and there is an etching of a photo of the two of them along with the dates of both births, his death, and their marriage. On the back of the bench are etched the words “Go Mountaineers.” He loved his WVU Mountaineers for sure. I did the only logical thing when I visited…I sat on the bench and just laughed a little. Call it a weird way pinning him when we used to wrestle, or call it a way of him continuing to support me. I told him of the Black is the New Pink campaign as I sat, and left a melanoma wrist band around faded flowers that had been placed there before. We left, and I was not sad. I miss him, but I feel some comfort.
· We also visited my mother’s grave in a different part of the valley. It’s the first time I visited when I didn’t feel great sadness, but a sense of comfort. I had an inner thought flow through me at both sites that said, “you don’t need to visit here again…it’s time to live your life and to know that we’ll be following you.” Corny I know…but it felt good to know.
· I gave dad a hard copy of the ten most read postings from this log (remember, he doesn’t own a computer). I told him that it would be a hard read at times. His tears a little later proved me right. But this time, he didn’t convey that I was preaching to the choir. He simply told me, “good job.” That’s an entire sermon from my dad.
· My dad and his wife’s hearing is quite bad. The TV was turned up to its maximum volume during our entire visit. I’m surprised Jeff and mom didn’t tell me to have him turn it down. J
· Back at home, my wife had her consultation with the plastic surgeon to have her re-emerging mole removed. Her appointment is September 14. Thank you for your encouraging words to convince her to have this done. I’ll keep you posted.
· The whole Lance Armstrong thing occurred while I was out of town. When the yellow “Livestrong” wrist bands came out so many years ago, I felt that many wore them simply to be fashionable and not for the message. I was quite naïve about any cancer back then. Now, I see the impact this campaign has had and “understand” the message. My brother wore a Livestrong band along with his black melanoma band. I have no thoughts one way or the other about his cycling/doping controversy…but I have great respect for what the campaign has done. I wore yellow this past Friday as others did in honor of Lance Armstrong.
· I’m getting very excited to attend the AIM walk in November! I can’t wait to meet so many of my Facebook friends for the first time. But I’ve also asked to be involved with another walk in my town of Apex…an MRF walk in October (yes, in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month). I’m very excited about this event being so close to home and will definitely blog more about it soon. Donations are still encouraged for the November walk, and I’ll be providing a link later this week to donate to the October walk. Honestly, I wish I could participate in something every month!
I don’t see work and life letting up any time soon, but I’ll do my best to keep posting as much as possible and doing my part to spread melanoma awareness!