When I found out somebody I knew from my youth, a friend’s father, had prostate cancer the only thing I could say was, “cancer picked the wrong guy.”
That wasn’t said because he’s such a good person and that it’s completely unfair that he should have such a condition. It’s because cancer picked a worthy opponent.
As a youth, my friend’s father was the stuff of neighborhood legend. He was a mason whose muscles had muscles. He struck an awesome and unusual figure in the summer when he joined us in the pool, those muscles bronzed from hours out in the sun and his legs pale from wearing pants in the searing heat.
The legend was more than about physique. It was about an indefatigable work ethic. Hours upon hours of laying brick and then home to do more yard work. It was not done haphazardly. No, everything was measured and done with a purpose, the correct way.
His garden to this day is something to behold. In addition to the quality of the vegetables there’s quantity, enough to supply a farmer’s market.
Yes, cancer picked the wrong guy. Even after years with the condition, the garden still grows. The lawn is still immaculate. And the driveway is cleared within minutes after snowstorms. He even asks fellow neighbors if they need any help.
This Movember, I’m growing a moustache and raising money for prostate and testicular cancer and it’s for people like my friend’s father. He would never take the help for himself. But he would want it for others.
Cancer has robbed this neighborhood ironman of his physical strength. It has not and will not take what was his true strength—persistence. As was said in the movie Shawshank Redemption, “get busy living or get busy dying”. To my friend, living means doing what he loves—gardening, taking care of his lawn and home. And he’s still doing that today.
Yes, cancer chose the wrong guy. Help me raise money for when it chooses someone who can’t quite put up the same kind of fight.