Yesterday, Friday the 2nd of January, marked the year anniversary of my last chemotherapy treatment. I'd like to think that my team in crimson won the Sugar Bowl in my honor. Really, it doesn't seem that long ago. I remember that last infusion session quite well. It was bittersweet in that I was happy to be done with one long therapy and on to my radiation treatments. Also, I think that I barfed my spleen that night. I was given a blanket for my chemo graduation, a blanket in memoriam of a young boy that had passed away that year. His name is sewn into the flannel.
I want you to know, Ben, that I've often thought about your life and how it ended--what dreams that you had that were unrealized due to a life cut short. I wonder what fears you had of death and dying, because my fears were tremendous. That is a reality that all must face, but with diseases like cancer, it holds a unique form of dread. Did you suffer much? What did your family go through? How are they feeling about it now? Is there an afterlife, Ben? Is it worth giving hope to the hopeless? I certainly pondered these things as I went through that special hell and I don't query in spite or bitterness. In all humility, I just want to know.
However the many questions I have, I want you to know that the blanket that bears your name comforted me through the rest of my hardship onto recovery. That was tangible; a real shelter that I could not find in scripture, nor in ecclesiastical leader. I find it odd now that church people wish me to inspire them through my experiences when the time that I was suffering I could not find solace in but a few of them. I will do it. Not because I feel the burning in my bosom. Rather, because I know that I can offer them a blanket of my own instead of hocus pocus. If there is no god, may god exist through us.
4 years ago