This past week I was at Tim Horton’s.
Sitting across from me was a man that I did not know.
The reason he and I were sitting at the same table is such a coincidence if you believe in such a thing.
I don’t believe in coincidences.
I was soon to find out that the reason for me meeting this man at a random table at Tim Horton’s would change my perspective on some of the things I considered important.
Jack would tell me about his situation.
He would tell me of the diagnosis. How they found cancer. He would give me details of his surgeries and of the treatments. The doctors removed one of the largest tumors recorded at the Cleveland Clinic from his colon. He would tell me he has been dealing with this for almost 5 years now. He has been told by the doctors that there was nothing more they could do. He has been told on at least 2 times that he only had a few months to live.
He recently had more tests run and again, the prognosis is not good. They will do another round of chemo and they will attack it as best as they can.
He has survived. He has overcome. He has lived.
But that isn’t Jack’s story, at least not all of it.
Jack’s story begins with a desire to write a book about his situation.
He has wanted to write a book called “Blessed With Cancer”.
It is as important as life to him.
Sure, he wants to write this book for his wife and for his children to read in the future, but more importantly, he wants it for those that are walking the same path in life.
He wants to share his story of how he has survived. How he has overcome and more importantly how he has lived to those that are battling cancer.
He has tried to get his book published. Some publishers would tell him that the costs of putting this into a book form would be thousands of dollars. Others would tell him that it will be over a year away for it to be published in book form.
Jack doesn’t know if he has a year to give.
This is where I come into Jack’s story.
I am not sharing this to get any credit, to be recognized or to be seen in a better light.
I just know what Jack feels like when it comes to wanting to write a book and the process it takes to get it into book form. It’s brutal.
I can help him achieve his desire while he can enjoy the fulfillment of reaching a lifelong dream.
This is what I am going to do for Jack.
As Jack and I finished up our discussion and details that need to be completed to publish his book, I see that this book is something that he is living for. The compassion to tell his story and a desire to leave something that gives evidence that he was here. A way to thank his doctors… his friends and most of all his family.
Here is the front cover of the book I am publishing for him. I just submitted the book and it will be on Amazon in the next week or so. I am proud to have been part of his dream to publish a book.
The lessons to be learned in his story are evident long before a book gets published.
For me, I realize that in light of his story, many of the things I consider important… simply are not. Whether or not the Browns win another game or the Indians win a World Series is not important. It simply doesn’t matter.
I am reminded of a movie I watched many years ago. It wasn’t a great movie by any standard, most of the movie I forgot about soon after it was over. However, there is one scene that I have never forgotten. In that movie, called “Meatballs”, Bill Murray is coaching a summer camp softball team. Just prior to the final game between his team of nerds and the super-jocks, Bill gives his team a pep talk, reminding them that whether they win or lose, it just doesn’t matter.
Most of the things we face in life really do not matter. Not in the big picture of life. Our perspective will change when we face our mortality. When we face an uncertain future.
I am aware that we all have to face these things in life.
We have to play the cards we are dealt.
We need to focus on what matters.
What matters is having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
What matters is showing up and doing the best you can.
What matters is your family.
What matters is stepping up to the plate and taking your best shot.
What matters is not letting your fear or your cancer define you.
What matters is living life until God calls you home.
It’s trying to squeeze out every last drop of life knowing that it is so precious.
So… when I see a man who has endured the last five years dealing with cancer and then he writes a book called “Blessed With Cancer”… the game that the Browns won last week… just doesn’t matter.