A couple days ago, on the same day I found out about my Uncle Mike, I wrote more than what I posted. I also wrote this:
"I knew going into my Team in Training experience that there was a very good chance I'd be running "in memory" and not just "in honor" of Uncle Mike, and that felt weird and scary.
This, the reality of it all, feels more than weird and scary. It feels terrible.
I just have questions.
And they aren't the kind with pretty answers, or even answers, period.
All I know is people shouldn't die before their parents do.
People shouldn't die before they're old enough to use senior citizen discounts.
People shouldn't spend the last few months or years of their lives in pain.
Yet, these bad things still happen. Leukemia isn't the sole reason these bad things happen, but it has a special place in my heart.
It doesn't have a happy special place, but it has a special place nonetheless.
Because leukemia took away a man who taught me what patience looked like in the most silly yet frustrating situations.
Leukemia took away a man who humbled me with grammar corrections and poking fun at my "hand on the hip" pose on Facebook.
Leukemia took away the man who taught me how effective isometric exercises can be.
Leukemia took away the only man I've ever seen who was more of a smart-aleck than my dad."
Now. I've had time to reflect. And I think I need to rewind... Because I was a little in shock and a lot sad. And I've realized that as much as I want to raise awareness and money for research on leukemia and blood cancers, I don't want that hatred of cancer to overshadow the absolute love I felt and will always feel for my uncle.
So I'd like to edit a few of my earlier statements:
Because leukemia took away My Uncle Mike was a man who taught me what patience looked like in the most silly yet frustrating situations.
Yeah, Uncle Mike's life was cut short because of cancer, but I don't want to remember leukemia.
I want to remember the man.
Because he was super awesome.
Uncle Mike in one of his signature Hawaiian print shirts with his precious grandkids: Felix and Archer. So glad he was able to meet and love on these adorable kiddos!