When I think of heroes in my life, my mind goes to those individuals who have inspired me to be a better man, not only by their character and virtues but also by their words and actions; both former and latter tethered to their selfless devotion to help others.
Heroes like my former wrestling coaches, James Linder and Keith Bonnigson, both endeavored to teach me the importance of embracing a noble character and a hard work ethos. And I am grateful for the late Marvin Hill, and his surviving wife, Rose, who graciously took me in during my young adult years after their son told them that I was sleeping in my car. Then there was Gunnery Sergeant Lingad, a Philippine national who joined the U.S. Marine, who didn’t think twice to not sugarcoat his words when he said, “shut up and think about the life you’d like to have after the Corps.” He was more concerned about my future than worried about what I’ve thought about him or his firm admonishment.
I’ve also been blessed by heroes who’ve altruistically stepped into the gap as a father-figure when I needed one the most during a climacteric time of my life: a pastor … an Army Chaplain (photo above) … an industrial construction worker ... a business owner, to name just a few.
I can go on and on and cite the countless other heroes whose character and virtues, combined with their ‘Good Samaritan’ bent to help others, buoyed me along with this turbulent life. If it wasn’t for their charity towards me, I would have ended up in and out of prison and engaged in atrocious affairs.
However, I truly believe in my heart that each one of my heroes was used as an instrument through which God could display His unconditional love and charity to this undeserving, wretched soul. For this reason alone, when I hear or read laudatory descriptions about me being a hero or a fighter; in truth, it is God, in His unending grace and love, who carries me through this affliction. I know this to be true because He has carried and lifted me out of other great tribulations, either caused by my own hand or entrapped by a calamity beyond my control.
I do hope and pray that God, through the salvation of Christ, carries and lifts me from the tentacles of cancer today. Moreover, I pray that He renews my heart and mind; spurring me on for a renewed repentance and obedience; for this prodigal child needs the comfort and strength of the everlasting One; being of one heart with Him, resting in the hands of His Son, Jesus the Christ, and holding onto His foundation, thus united and given the fighter’s heart to face his own fears and death.
This is my prayer...
A prayer of a desperate man who is no hero nor fighter, just a man who wants a lifetime of memories with his loving wife and helpmate.
Clinical update: The PET/CT scan indicated a potential metastasis in the right lobe of the liver. We meet with my oncologist next Tuesday, 10/29, to receive a further diagnosis, and if needed, determine the next steps.
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