Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Brad, a former manager of mine, was diagnosed with cancer about 2 years ago. It was caught in late stages and his prognosis was never very promising. Despite that, his wife married him and chose to be with him through his pain and suffering.

I last talked to Brad about 2 months ago and at the time he said he was feeling ok despite the circumstances, but had decided to give up on the chemotherapy because it was making him too ill. I told him I was coming to visit in April and that I'd like to come see him if he was up to it. At the time he said he planned on being around because he had tickets to see Elton John in Minneapolis. (He's a HUGE Elton fan.) One Christmas Brad gave to me the Yellow Brick Road CD and wrote on it that if I work for him, I must have that CD in my collection. It is one of my most treasured gifts.

Not long ago I got an email from a mutual friend telling me that if I ever wanted to talk with Brad again, that I should contact him soon because he was "fading fast". I called and emailed, but for about a week, I never received a reply. I took that as a sign that things were not good.

In IA, I did get another email from Jared, that mutual friend, who basically passed along information on Friday that Brad had just hours left, according to the hospice nurse. At that point my suspicions were confirmed and I knew that there would be no opportunity for me to see Brad. It was time now for only his closest family and friends to be with him. I then finally got a reply from Tracy, Brad's wife, basically telling me that the end was near and I wouldn't be able to see Brad. She was responding to a ten day old email I sent. I emailed her back and she told me that I could send an email to Brad and she would read it to him, because they believed he could still hear. Reality kicked in for me. Brad was really dying. Forty-three years young and he lay dying in a hospital bed set up in his living room. Wasting away to nothing. I hate cancer!

I emailed her some remembrances I had of Brad and also some scripture hoping to comfort and soothe fearful and aching hearts. Nothing can do that better than the power of God's Word, so that was what I sent to her. She emailed me back and told me that what I sent was "beautiful and comforting." I've never met Brad's wife, but I know that she must be one heck of a woman to first of all marry someone knowing that within a few short years she would be a widow, two, that she involved me, a total stranger to herself, in Brad's dying process via email, and three, the kind words she sent to be after his death at 5:25 on Monday, April 4, their second wedding anniversary. Amazing, on Friday he had just hours, yet held out for his anniversary on Monday.

Brad, I miss you! I will never hear an Elton John song without thinking of you!

Brad's obituary

No comments:

Post a Comment