A day late, a dollar short.
Two days ago I decided to buy a 10 pack of those Lance Armstrong Foundation yellow cancer bracelets that everybody in the world is wearing. I was resisting the temptation to get them earlier, simply because everybody has them. But, after further consideration, I decided that it was an easy, cool way to drop a couple of bucks into the cancer research fund, and get a nifty conversation piece at the same time. I have both family and friends who've been affected by cancer (breast cancer, cervical cancer, testicular cancer, throat cancer). Thankfully, as far as any of us know, my family is cancer free at the moment, but when you look at the history, it's prolly safe to say that my day is coming.
The thing that spurred me to action was the toddler-nephew of a longtime friend. The friend (we'll call him 'Nick" to protect his privacy) and I have known each other, I believe, since Cub Scouts. He's one of those friends who you've known so long, you don't really remember how you met. Nick's brother and sister-in-law had a son a couple of years ago. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Nick would send out regular email updates (almost like blog entried from his brother) as to Ethan's condition (some days were better than others) and treatments (stem cell harvests and things no toddler should have to endure) and general goings-on (Make-A-Wish Foundation family trip to Disneyworld).
I've been getting these email updates for a while...a year, maybe more. Recently, they had been sounding less optimistic. So I thought to myself "Ok, I'll get some of those Lance Armstron bracelets in the nephew's (Ethan's) name and give them out to friends and it will help me keep him in mind and remind me to send good vibes his way. Done. Order placed, they should arrive in the next couple of weeks.
Around 6pm the same day I placed my order, I got this update:
September 21, 2004 at 07:44 AM CDT
Ethan died this morning in his sleep, a little after 7am central.
No more pain.
Damn. Now I'll be wearing the bracelet in his memory.
Farewell, young Ethan. I'm glad your pain is gone. You and your family are in my thoughts.