A former hockey coach named Pat Burns passed away today (well, yesterday now) from cancer. I’m a hockey fan, not a HUGE hockey fan, but I had heard of this guy. I remember him best as a portly, mustached man, re-faced and yelling at his Toronto Maple Leafs players from behind the bench (not that it did them a heck of a lot of good! ;)).
Even though I didn’t follow his career, I knew his face very well, and I also knew that he was very ill. Tonight, on the news, I was utterly shocked to see footage of him at his last public appearance early last month. This was not the man I remembered; this was a man who looked like what I can best describe as death walking. He had wasted from what was probably 270lbs or so down to 100.
THIS is why, to this day, I am glad that my very last memory of my grandfather was of him sitting on a chair as I said goodbye to him after a Christmas visit. He, like Pat Burns, had cancer. If I had seen him in the hospital, obviously in pain, weighing next to nothing, I would probably be haunted for life (that’s just my personality; I tend to remember bad/negative things more than good things). I have no idea what I’ll do in the future if a loved one faces this situation again; I’ll deal with that when the time comes…
Cancer is a horrible, HORRIBLE disease…and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Just thinking of my grandfather, how much I miss him, an what a shame it is that hundreds of thousands of lives are cut short by cancer every year.
I miss you, Grampie 🙂 We remember you at every holiday, at every meal, and whenever someone pulls out their camera to take one of those unexpected shots when you’re in the middle of a mouthful of food. We all love you and miss you, and remember you with nothing but good thoughts. I’m glad I got to know you for as long as I did, and that you are no longer in pain. Thank you for the jaunts to fast food restaurants, the stories, building Legos, drives in the country, those special shopping trips, the trip to Pictou, and just for being a great man. Please know that I smile way, way more than I cry when I think of you, and that your legacy is being carried on with each and every one of us.
Oh, and yes, the water was wet today 😀