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“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come.  Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.” – Mattie Stepanek

I was listening to an interview with a woman who worked for a cancer research foundation and she said two things that struck me as very impactful and meaningful, especially given my strong feelings about cancer.  First she was asked where she saw herself in five years and instantly responded “hopefully without a job”, with the hope that cancer treatment would evolve so her services were no longer necessary.  She knew it probably wasn’t going to happen but given the magnitude of her desire and conviction, her work continues to be driven towards such a lofty goal.  This planetary community needs idealists like her, Mom, my friend Marlena, and so many countless others who respond to not only the hardships surrounding the interpersonal world around them but, the global plights that affect all of our international counterparts.  Someone has to do it and serious problems need truly serious and committed believers!

Mom sent me this quote which I think sums up that mindset and really take your time to read it.  “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” – G.K.Chesterton.  Again read it, let it sink in, digest it, and hopefully incorporate it into your way of thinking because at your age, there’s no way that you shouldn’t see yourselves as “dragon slayers” because maybe, just maybe, you don’t know enough yet that you should think otherwise!

The second thing she pointed out were the tragic destinations between cancer striking children versus those much older which seemed to have some validity in how she presented them. When cancer strikes individuals who are older (say around my age), they have the rest of their lives ahead of them.  I’m sure it’s not much comfort to them because either way, it still involves a lot of suffering to endure over whatever time lies ahead of them.

But when it come to those younger, she put it in a way that still makes tears well up in my eyes even as I write this.  I’m not sure she had a cutoff point in age in mind when she stated the following in a very simple yet potent manner that figuratively pushed me to my knees with prayers as sincere had they been uttered in Church before the Holy Trinity.  This is all she said:  when cancer strikes the young, the difference is that they still “have ALL of their lives ahead of them!”

As the father of two young sons, my adopted one Cole (who is intimately aware of cancer’s thievery), and so many other young individuals who I have or will have a connection with, I literally tremble of anything so tragic weighing against them.  Don’t think for a second I wouldn’t literally sacrifice “the rest of my life”, so that you could have “all of your lives” and don’t think Mom or Dee Dee (Cole’s mom) wouldn’t do the same beyond any sacrifices we’ve made to date for you guys!

So what’s the point “Daddy Dico”?  Well it’s not to bum you out over such a tragic topic but to slap some awareness into your beautiful and youthful existence!  You know I started writing all this stuff to you initially as part of my therapy and motivation as I recovered from my injury and also as a motivational tool for Jason last year during baseball, then eventually the rest of you for other reasons, and consequently countless others.

But after I’ve fairly recovered and could have stopped awhile ago, why do I continue to write when I don’t have to?  Because that is what I WANT to do for the “rest of my life” so that it hopefully helps you through “all of your lives”!

That’s my purpose for all of you for a few reasons.  First I almost didn’t have the rest of this life as I know it now to do it.  Second, I can’t help myself because I care so much about you and I would betray my role as your father not to give you as much information I have available in me as you try to sort out “all of your lives”.  Third by sharing in this way, it provides the best way to communicate whatever message I can share in hopefully a productive manner you can benefit from.  Fourth, I have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about it through my own body of work and if you don’t believe me now, my guess is you’ll find out in due time.  Finally, I’m freaking good at it!

So get this:  I don’t write as much for me but for you and hopefully for anyone who may be able to take something from it.  It’s not for any attention on myself but because I like people knowing they have my attention.  For vanity?  F’ no, because if I were illogically and disproportionally vain, I’d be seeking out hair transplants or toupees, Botox injections, but lifts, or drive a convertible Porsche.  Like Mom, Marlena, and others who seek to slay the dragons that penetrate the boundaries of the worlds of so many less fortunate, you boys are the cause I wish to champion whether it be giving you the weapons you need to battle your own dragons, or stand beside while you defeat them.  I suppose you could question the manner of my delivery but you could never doubt my sincerity or my intentions if you really were to think about them and who knows, maybe you have!

I’ll leave this with you as I drift into the rest of this beautiful day because this is the field of play I choose to attempt to excel in.  “No day is wasted in which I touch another person’s life in any positive, meaningful way.  And so it is that I enrich my days by giving something of myself whether through a warm smile, a kind word, a sympathetic ear, a gentle embrace, or a helping hand.” – David L. Weatherford.

Think about it and maybe you guys will choose it too?