Today I just wanted to take a moment to remember my Uncle Bob, who passed away yesterday after a nearly year-long battle against pancreatic and liver cancer.
Bob married into our family 17 years ago and I was lucky enough to get to know him a bit throughout the years. I traveled with he and my aunt Lauren on an 8-day Mediterranean cruise in 2004, acting as their guide through everywhere from Barcelona to Monte Carlo.
You see, since both Bob and Lauren are blind, they needed someone to help make the trip a bit easier. Of course, I'm pretty sure they didn't quite bargain for their 26 year old niece "helping" quite so much.
The day we landed in Barcelona and were making our way through the airport towards the cab line, I temporarily forgot that my ENTIRE JOB was to be their eyes. So, instead, I guided Bob right into a sliding glass door that closed behind me as we were making our way outside.
I was his favorite niece. Obviously.
But true to form, Bob soldiered on. Just like he did when he battled - and beat - bladder cancer. Just like he did when he refused to let the fact that he was blind stop him from engaging in life like a sighted person - riding tandem bikes to get into shape, giving ME directions while driving, and helping me find things in the kitchen when my own sight failed me.
And just like he did when he took on cancer for the second, and last, time. He went in fighting and kept pushing back until the very end. He was determined to be one of the very few who comes out alive against the beast of pancreatic cancer. And even when it became clear that the cancer was winning, he continued to fight days longer than even the best doctors predicted.
He left behind a wife, a mother, a sister, a brother, nieces and nephews, friends, and his seeing eye dog, Zeus. And he was surrounded by all of these people (save for Zeus - who totally would've been there if he'd been cleared to drive) in the hospital until the very end. A testament to how many people he touched throughout his short 56 years on this earth.
So, as before, I'll leave you with this video. Because at the end of the day, we should all take a moment to reflect on life and how we lead it. Even in death.
Enjoy your weekend, all. See you next week.