Saturday, October 27, 2007
Interesting, how things happen
In December of 2006, I was perusing blogs over at blogger and stumbled onto one that was newly begun: The author was Norm, a Canadian; the name of the blog was "What are you doing with the rest of your life?".
Norm was dying of pancreatic cancer, the same dreadful condition that took my father-in-law many years ago. If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you know you're a goner.
I watched Norm, through his journal, grow weaker and weaker, finally becoming unable to blog. Then his friend kept me posted on how he was doing, in her blog and also in his. The final entries in Norm's journal were added by friends, right up to information and comments about his funeral. It was a sad process, watching the man suffer and die. But once I had started, I couldn't just turn away.
I've always wished he'd blogged before cancer got hold of him, because I know very little about how his life was before the awful diagnosis. I get the impression he loved the outdoors and solitude, so I think he and I would have gotten along famously as friends.
After Norm died, I kept reading his friend's blog, Put Simply. She's still going through the grieving process, in a graceful and quiet way.
Her most recent entry led me to a professor some of you might have seen on Oprah; I seldom watch Oprah, so this was new to me. Randy Pausch, is dying of pancreatic cancer... or perhaps I should say "living with" pancreatic cancer... and has a most wonderful message to the world.
He has a website HERE. You can see his "last lecture", a Google video, HERE, and I recommend it highly. Or go to Youtube to see part of his lecture. You can read the transcript HERE.
The Internet is a fascinating place: I stumbled onto the blog of a dying man, which took me to his author-friend's blog, which introduced me to Randy's life-changing lecture.
If I ever receive the news that I'm dying within three to six months (or whatever time length), I hope I remember to watch or read Randy's lecture and gain strength and joy from it.
I have a new hero.
A hero I wouldn't yet have met if not for Norm and his blogging friend (and bedside angel).
Rest in peace, Norm. Your influence goes on.