Being strong can be defined in so many ways. The strongest person I ever knew was my dad. My dad was the typical retired marine, he was strict and very detailed, but when it came to my sister and I, some would say he was a big teddy bear. He was strong in his faith in God and church. No matter what dilemmas or complications came his way, he never let it get him down. To him everything happens for a reason and he believed something good always came from something bad.
In the summer of 2003 my dad was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. When told the news, my sister, my mom and I were crying and he just looked at us with a smile and said it’ll be okay. His outlook was, “I was healed before I had cancer.” For months he made numerous trips a week to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. When those were not working as well as doctors had hoped, he was sent to the University of Kentucky to have a dangerous procedure to remove the tumor from one side of his brain stem. Thankfully the surgery worked and removed 98% of the cancerous tumor. Six months had passed and during a follow up visit, doctors discovered that the cancer was returning but at a faster rate than before. Doctors and specialists fought the cancer as long and as hard as they could, but unfortunately, on November 28, 2007 my dad passed away from a rare form of Small Cell Carcinoma.
To me my dad is and will always be the strongest person I will ever know. To fight so hard and for so long against a battle you know you have no chance of winning, is extraordinary. There are times when I want to be selfish and wish my dad were here and then I realize that where ever he may be, he’s no longer in pain. I like to think of him as my guardian angel and that no matter where I go or what I do, he’ll always be looking over me. He is and will always be that special person to me.