I find myself having spent 3 hours tonight, driving south from Ocean City, after an evening watching a friend from years back be so blessed by the many people that came out to support him. It brought back so many memories of Ben…it’s as if all diagnosed with cancer gets this “Book of how-to”. I heard PJ, who is amazingly beating his battle with Lung Cancer, say the same phrases Ben said, and having the same humbleness. How is that so?!
Having been by Ben’s side for most of his battle with this beast, when I learned about PJ’s battle, I just crumpled. Like Ben, he’s this amazing all-around great guy. Would do the world for you, would give you the shirt & shoes off his body for you. Why is it that all the wonderful people are being plaqued with this dreaded disease?
I thought when PJ was diagnosed, and feeling sad and concerned for him, that I was in a way betraying Ben. He was my focus, he was my dear friend, and how could I have this concern for another? I believe it took tonight, knowing that Ben would want me to care and show that support to PJ, as I did him, to not feel that betrayal. I know this sounds silly. I feel silly writing it. The heart is an amazing thing….and it can grow at a moments notice.
Perhaps, too, I wasn’t ready to have the emotional pain with cancer again. After losing Ben almost 2 months ago, and my own father almost a year ago, maybe I was afraid to let myself get concerned for another. Those thoughts all went away tonight. Not only seeing PJ and the outpouring of love for him through his friends, but for PJ himself. After 25 years of not seeing him, with a room full of his friends, he still made sure he came to talk with me, to make sure I was doing ok.
I’m so blessed to have had Ben in my life. But I’m now blessed to be able to do whatever I can for PJ, even if it’s just to send him messages, or go to event for him, or do research.
We need a cure for cancer, it’s imperative. I urge everyone to join the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Advocacy Network to demand that Congress make funding and research for cancer a priority!
I’d also like everyone to pray for PJ, as you did for Ben. Follow his story at http://www.pjaf.org. His family & friends WILL make a difference, if not for all cancers, for Lung cancer for sure.
I know Ben would want us to continue his fight through others, and I will do just that for him.
I miss you Ben, and I love you. PJ – you have all my support. You’re an inspiration…I admire what you’re doing, and for the man you are.