On Monday, one of the administrators that I worked with during my first two years of teaching passed away after a three year battle with colon cancer. He was very focused and dedicated to education, first as a teacher and then as an administrator at several schools in our school district. He was well loved and respected by colleagues, parents, and students, and has left a lasting mark on the entire community.
His passing has hit me hard, not because he and I were particularly close, but because of how young he was, just 49 years old. He leaves behind a wife of 22 years and three children, ages 19, 16, and 10.
Throughout his battle with cancer, his wife wrote a blog as a way to document their roller coaster journey in his battle with cancer. A couple of weeks ago, she wrote about how the two of them had questioned whether it was his time to go since they didn’t know if they had experienced everything together that they were supposed to.
He was an athlete, and was very active, particularly in playing basketball, when he was diagnosed back in 2011. None of the signs above pointed to him as being “the one” who should have battled a life threatening illness.
Yet, he did. And that has me thinking about how cancer has not only directly impacted my own family but also how I too am very active, and one day, could all of a sudden be thrown a life changing curve ball.
Of course, cancer isn’t the only life changing curve ball out there. Any number of things could change a path in life that you think you’re on. And its not about taking every precaution there is to prevent any detours from that path, but rather, to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every moment you have in life.
Its so easy to get wrapped up in things that, in the grand scheme of life, have very little meaning. Its easy to vent about the littlest things, and be jealous of things and opportunities that others have that you may only dream of. But looking at the big picture, what really matters most?
What matters most to me is my family. Its of great importance that I make the most of my time here on Earth with them, especially my husband. I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer only nine and a half months after Preston and I were married. I lost my maternal grandmother when I was a freshman in college, my paternal grandfather when I was four, and never knew my paternal grandmother since she passed away when my dad was a senior in high school. I’ve already lost out on valuable time with these family members, and would hate to regret not having enough time with others.
QOTD: What matters most to you?