Many things have happened over the past couple of weeks. In a way, most were remarkable, at least inasmuch as they had significance. Most remarkable, perhaps, is that I was invited to speak at a local school to discuss my experience with cancer among the seventh grade class.
The students were wonderfully attentive, and their teacher a top-notch educator, adding real-life experiences to book-learning, and providing iPods to each group so they could record each speaker’s discussion and produce their own podcasts. I told each of them that having cancer doesn’t mean you’re dead. Jeseca lived more passionately in the last four years than she ever had, never losing her smile or zest for life, even during the worst moments of treatment. I then showed them the Bessie Coleman book she illustrated (just one of her many incredible accomplishments), and gave it to the most charming young woman (seated in the middle of the front row). She responded in kind and gave me a flower. The experience was beyond rewarding.
Next, the boys, their Uncle Mikey and I went to Boomers today to have some fun. We’ve been there several times in the past eight months. Today seemed to be the most fun. I won the first three races (in typical, rub-your-nose-in-it fashion), then tragically lost the last two. Hate that.
And now, after typing for nearly two straight hours, I am just 10 entries away from finishing Jeseca’s journals. I have to say that I’m unsure how to feel about it. This project, transcribing her journals for all to read, has been an integral part of my life these last several months. As I near the end of it, I can’t help wondering what to do after I finish it. It’s just…….well…….
I’ll leave you with an entry from her journals dated September 12, 2006 (11 months before she died.)
Your love sustains, empowers, and gives courage. It builds bridges, closes gaps, and puts out fires. It gives new hope, new dawns, and new days. It opens doors, closes them, and breaks them down.
Your love heals hearts, heals bodies, and heals minds. It protects the helpless, the hopeless, and all who are lost.
Your love is a light, a small flame, and a blazing fire. It always protects, never rejects, and always believes.
Your love sends us forth into the world to places we don’t want to go to help people we never would have helped.
Your love: To share it, to give it, to know it, to live it.
From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.