I’m not the only one in my world dealing with severe illness. Sometimes I’m the one on the outside, powerless to help, wishing for a cure, dreaming of an imaginary world in which someone I loved wasn’t suffering. It’s heartbreaking. Every single day my mind is consumed with thoughts of what I can do, how I can help, what he is going through. The problem is, I know from experience that there really isn’t anything I can do. I really don’t have any power to help, all I have is my love for him and in that is all of my power.
My friend Scotty has terminal cancer. Though he did everything right, he fought tooth and nail, struggled through all of the treatments and all of the surgeries they just didn’t work. It’s not fair and it’s not right, but here we are and we all know that his time is near. What do you do with that? How do you help or show how much you love someone facing death? It’s not something our culture really teaches us how to deal with.
To really understand my struggle let me give you an idea of the kind of man Scotty is. I met him when I was a teenager, which was many years ago and in all that time he has never done anything to hurt me. He has always been this bundle of energy and humor wrapped up in a big mischievous smile and bright red curly hair. Although most of the time he wants to play whenever you need to talk he is there and he always has your back. I have never seen someone get so angry on my behalf when someone else caused my tears. Scotty is honest, he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks and you never have to wonder where you stand. That’s not a bad thing because he loves so completely that where you stand is always by his side. He has always given the greatest hugs, nice and strong and tight and he is one of the few people that I have fallen asleep in his arms, safe and warm. He is a dear and wonderful friend and human being. Plus he is a fantastic cook!
I try to imagine what he must be going through. I imagine that this must all be so overwhelming. I know that he feels miserable, that his body has betrayed him and it’s shutting down on him. I know from my experience that there are a lot of emotions that go along with your own body turning on you. I know that I’ve experienced a lot of anger, sadness, and grief, and I wonder what that must be like for him when facing death. I know that he has faced this whole experience like a hero. That he has kept a positive attitude throughout the whole thing…at least for the public face. I imagine he has had some struggles privately, but who wouldn’t? Since he is such an amazing person and everybody knows it, he has had incredible support from so many people. Hundreds of people following his saga, cheering him on, offering help and support, and most importantly, love. It really shows how much Scotty has touched the world. Though I do wonder sometimes if even that has been overwhelming for him at times. When you’re sick everything just seems like too much. Though I know that he realizes this outpouring of love is what he has created throughout his life returning to him in his time of need.
In the true Scotty fashion, I know that he is worried about all those he is leaving behind. I want him to know that we are going to miss him every single day for the rest of our lives. That’s as it should be. We will be sad, but we also have so very many incredibly happy memories to hold you in our hearts forever. You are leaving a legacy like no other and each and every one of us is privileged and honored to have shared our lives with you. We love you, deeply, truly, unconditionally, forever. I know that you have inspired me to live and love completely and I will always have your voice in my head urging me to love bigger, speak my mind more freely, and get into a little mischief. Thank you, Scotty, for your friendship, love, humor, hugs, fun, and honest conversations.
Scotty has one final wish and unsurprisingly, it’s not for him, it’s for his wife. He is worried about her making ends meet when his income stops. He wants to have a fund for her to draw from to cover his side of the bills so she isn’t upside down and grieving. Many of his friends have already stepped up, but the goal has yet to be reached. Please, this is an amazing cause for a really incredible person and it’s not even for him, but it is his final wish. Every little bit helps, if you can help, please do. All of us who love him, truly thank you.