There is something to be said about a person who wishes to share their journey for the benefit of others. That person is my father. The start of 2018 presented a life altering experience & as I continue to reflect on this time, I am honoring my father who asked my mother & I to document as much of his experience as possible. The three of us stayed incredibly optimistic in hopes that one day, my dad could share his story with others to inspire them to search farther & dig deeper through their own struggles. Unfortunately, he isn’t here any longer to do that & the outcome was not what any of us foresaw, but that is what makes this story even more powerful… To be given a diagnosis, knowing the odds & taking on the challenge anyway. I was able to find it within me to stay focused going down this path only because of the father that he was to me. I am going to share how light was made out of the utmost pain & darkness. Also, the angels on both sides who helped to bring out that light. Along with, the lessons that my dad taught me prior & during this time in order to be the best me that I could be for him.
The thing about life & pain is, life never stops moving. We then get to choose if we want to keep moving through whatever we are given. I will never get over a loss like this, I’m just trying to do my very best in learning how to live with it. I lost my best friend, but now this loss, pain, grief, whatever you want to call it, is my new best friend that I’m choosing to travel alongside of. Some feel that it is best to avoid it, others decide to move through it & for me, I choose to move with it. To the man who gave his all without hesitation, until the very end. I consider myself fortunate in so many ways for being able to travel through this journey with him & my mom. I was given the opportunity to put my all into taking care of my Dad through his final months on this Earth & that is something that I forever cherish.
We arrived in Germany for my father’s treatment in the beginning of February 2018 on a red eye & tuned in to watch Super Bowl 52, which we could only get in German. It was 4:30am when the Philadelphia Eagles won. A second all nighter & treatment began the next morning, but more than worth it. #1 on my Dad’s bucket list was to witness the Eagles win a Super Bowl. As QB Nick Foles stated time & time again, it’s about staying present & being in the moment. For this moment, we were able to embrace what was one of the greatest days of our lives even under the circumstances.
In addition, I wanted to share a priceless image of my Dad watching a video of his favorite Eagles player, Brian Dawkin, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. We have the ability & resources to find motivation and ways to keep us fighting; to keep us moving. Brian Dawkins' ceremony couldn't have came at a better time. The love & passion that ran across my father's face is a sign of a fighter. There will always be people & situations throughout life that will help us continue on & remind us why we are where we are. Brian Dawkins was one of those people for my Dad.