Mom died in 2011. Her loss devastated Dad and me. We discovered that we had a choice…
“Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Let me explain… Dad and Mom met in high school. Within a few days, they were inseparable. They were best friends first. That was a time when it was unusual for boys and girls to have that kind of relationship.
Dad, Mom, and Jason years ago.
Dad was a tough guy, a boxer. Mom was also an athlete, a track star. They did everything together. She helped him train. He ran with her in the mornings. They spoke late into the night on the phone. Within a year, they had fallen in love.
After high school, they were engaged. Married. I was born. Our family from that point on as close as a family could be. Jokes and teasing were the norm; so were morning and bedtime hugs. Mom and Dad — two crazy lovebirds, an inseparable team.
So when mom died suddenly in 2011 — a heart attack with no warning — I was devastated. But for Dad the pain was unbearable. He plunged into an abyss. He lived in void. Mom was his life. He was lost. READ MORE
One more day. With your father. Your son. What would you give? I sat on the edge of Mark’s hospice bed, his hand in mine. I gently brushed the thin, wispy hair back from his forehead. “He’s gone,” the nurse whispered from behind. The words I had feared for five years.
(l-r) Mark’s dad Mike , Mark, and his brother Mike
I have never understood why my son’s fate was to die young. I don’t expect that I will. My name is Mike Stewart. This is the story of Mark. He was my son.
So bright, funny. A regular comedian, and smart as a whip. Successful… respected in his professional career. Mark was that one person in anyone’s life… that one person who makes you believe, who gives you hope, who pulls you through.
But cancer doesn’t discriminate. The diagnosis was real. A parent’s worse fear. Not Mark. Please God, anything but this. Don’t take one of my kids. But I had to be strong for my son. Together, we had to beat this thing. But I was terrified, as any father would be. READ MORE