Thursday, August 10, 2017

55: Arrive Alive

Due to the energy crisis in the early 70's, the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act prohibited national speed limits higher than 55 miles per hour. That included the interstate highways. One of the reminders to drive 55 was: 55 Arrive Alive.

Today, arriving alive at 55 has a different meaning for me - my eldest, son Douglas, is 55.

This picture was taken two years ago when, after months of radiation and chemo treatments, he was admitted to the hospital on his birthday.

Three and a half months later at his grandson Jack's first birthday, he was just beginning to be able to eat again, but on the road to better health.

Last month at Christmas in July, the pose he struck when his granddaughter Lily wanted to take his picture - pretty much back to his old self again.

Last Friday I got this message from him: "Best gift came today 2 years check is cancer free."

Two weeks ago he started a fund raiser, "I'm Donating My Birthday to Stupid Cancer" asking for donations in lieu of birthday presents. His goal was to raise $1000 to help other young adults who were facing what he had. As of this writing, $1,160 had been donated.

He wrote on his fund raiser page: "In a few days I will have survived two years, but not without help, prayers, a few dollars and good doctors. Please. Someone else needs help with just getting through treatments."

I know he has been anonymously donating gift cards at John Stoddard Cancer Center as well as his time and talents doing home improvements for cancer patients and now this fund raiser.

I couldn't be any more proud, nor any less humbled than I am by my first born.

I am so very, very grateful that Doug is 55: Arrived. Alive. Happy Birthday, Son.

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