Life throws you curve balls. Sometimes these curve balls are just small bumps in a road; other times those bumps can seem like enormous mountains which you are unable to climb.
One of my dear friends whom I had to pleasure to “cube” with for almost ten years, lost her husband last week. He was only in his mid-forties. He left two small boys and a wonderful wife.
Most men seem to think they are Superman. Chris was called that for a reason. He was a wonderful husband, coached his kids’ baseball and basketball teams, helped with boy scouts and worked a full time job.
The problem with men thinking they are Superman is that when something is ailing them, they shrug it off thinking, must be the flu, or, maybe it’s an ulcer.
Going to the doctor is an inconvenience. You have things to do–there isn’t time to visit a doctor, nor do you feel that bad to go to one. You start to lose a little weight. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem losing a little weight–most people would be thrilled if they lost those pesky ten pounds that have been hanging around. But, soon those ten pounds turn into fifteen pounds. Then twenty. Men at this point may feel there may be something amiss with their medical condition. Suddenly, your clothes are too big to wear. You have now lost thirty pounds.
When Chris came to the thirty pound mark, he decided to go to the doctor because he started having problems keeping food down. Him and his wife thought it was a gastrointestinal issue. He had a fever, shortness of breath and he was dizzy.
As Chris was losing weight, he didn’t realize that there was something far more serious happening to the inside of his body. As doctors ran tests they found several things that were wrong. While he was watching all of this weight melt off his body, he was developing a clot in his right lung, his kidney was infected and his bladder and colon were thickening. He also had a lot of lymph nodes in that same general area.
The man whom everyone called Super Chris–the man who only went to the doctor for some minor aches and pains in his back–was now admitted to the hospital and had a myriad of doctors tending to him.
One of the doctors was a urologist. After running tests late Thursday night, the doctor indicated it was a strong possibility that Chris had testicular cancer. The next day Chris had to have one of his testicles removed. During this same surgery, the urologist was checking his bladder for cancer just to be certain it hadn’t spread.
After surgery the GI doctor took over and wanted to perform a colonoscopy to understand what was going on. After having surgery to remove a testicle, the thought of getting a colonoscopy can’t be a pleasant experience for anyone, but Chris was a trooper. The only problem was he continued to have trouble breathing. It turned out he wasn’t getting enough oxygen to his lungs.
They increased his oxygen intake more and more as the day and night wore on. Because of this, the doctors thought it would be best to do an electro-cardiogram to check his heart. It revealed the right side of Chris’ heart was enlarged. The rapid response team took over and prepped him to go to intensive care.
As you can guess, things went wrong for Chris by Sunday. By Monday morning, he passed away–much too soon for his family or anyone else.
Within five days, a man who thought he only had some minor gastrointestinal issue ended up dying because of so many other problems he wasn’t aware of. Perhaps he would have known about these issues if he had gone to the doctor sooner. But, like most men, Chris thought it was just the flu. I mean, he was Superman. Superman never gets sick.
Here is the moral of this story: Live your life in the moment because you never know when it will be the last day you see your wife, husband, significant other or kids. Today may be your last day to see blue sky and hear chirping birds. You never know when it will be the last time you hear your children laugh or feel the strong arms of your husband wrapped around you to protect you from this sometimes crappy world we live in.
Chris will miss out on watching his two young boys grow up to be fine young men. He’ll miss their first dates, getting their drivers licenses, going off to college and getting married. His wife is left to pick up the pieces in trying to explain to her children why daddy is gone. They’ll ask if he did something bad that made God take him away. They will wonder for years why God took their daddy away from them when they loved him and needed him here.
In the meantime, his wife is just wondering, Why? That’s all she can feel right now because she’s numb from the unforeseen that has happened to her in less than a week’s time. Her life, and the life of her children are now turned brutally upside down.
Is it just a bad dream? She’s thinking, please let this just be a bad dream.
Friends and family are there to support her and her children. But, life goes on. If anyone has lost a loved one, they will understand that the hard truth hits home a few months after the numbness has passed; you thought you had cried all the tears you had when you said your final goodbyes.
Tell those that mean the most to you that you love them every single day. Enjoy the small things in life and don’t stress about the small stuff.
Live in the moment; it could be the last moment you will ever have.