Forever Ago

April 2, 2009
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The funny thing about humans is that we try so hard to capture every happy memory we have, but always miss the memories actually happen. We are all so wrapped up in our own lives, worrying about our tomorrows, and regretting our yesterdays, that we miss the precious moments that define us. Every morning, moms and dads rush off to work, rush back home, to put their children to sleep, and then restart the cycle. We take for granted all the moments we have with our family, our loved ones, and all those who make our lives worth living. We have the luxury of time, and we often misuse it.

James Winters knows this fact too well. He is dying of pancreatic cancer, and has only months to live. He was given his medical verdict on January 3rd, 2009. He remembered the day so clearly. The gray-paneled walls that enclosed him in the cancer ward he was sentenced to, the flickering fluorescents that cast a dark blue light on his heart, and the sterilized. He couldn’t remember the last time he saw his daughter, Jess.

Jessica’s high school graduation, four years ago, was the last she ever saw her father’s chiseled smile. That smile of his had disappeared ever since he had gone to the doctors for a check up in December. James knew that he wasn’t going to leave that office with only a lollipop. The look on the doctor’s face sent chills running down James’s spine. The slow deliberate voice of the Dr. Parhar was still clear and cold as the day James heard it.

You have pancreatic cancer, James.

Now, three months later, James had stop fighting it. He told himself everyday he was ready to go home, but in his heart, he knew that he couldn’t let go. Jessica was the last family member that James had left, and she was graduating from Cornell in only three weeks, and James’s last wish was to see her finish her schooling to enter the world that he had so abruptly been barred from enjoying.

James passed away four hours after attending his daughter’s graduation. He hugged Jess tightly, knowing that the last precious moments with her were the last she’d have of him. The strawberry vanilla perfume that she wore, the airy scent of her lilac shampoo, everything, James tried to remember, that maybe, somehow, he could remember this memory, just one, of his beautiful daughter.

Life is so very fragile, we are all vulnerable, and we must remember that what we all posses is extraordinary. It can be taken from us, and we must never take it for granted. We will be tested, and it is this that allows us to look deep inside ourselves.

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