Stuart Scott, on Life and Death
Posted by Marlene Delaney
Recently, Stuart Scott, an ESPN sports anchor died of stomach cancer. In reading tributes to him, several quotations were mentioned from his speech at the 2014 ESPY Awards:
"I have one more necessity ― it's really two," he said, referring to his daughters. "The best thing I have ever done, the best thing I will ever do, is be a dad .... It's true."
"Don't give up. Don't ever give up."
"When you die, that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live."
When my husband died in 2009 at Midwest CareCenter, he had actually lived his life in accordance with these quotes ― before Stuart Scott said them. And I think that most people who are fighting cancer live their lives in a similar way.
Tom lived his life to the fullest (as I have stated in other blog posts). He attended Bears games, he golfed, he worked hard, and he was very dedicated to his children. In fact at his wake, numerous people who only knew Tom through his work came up to my children and mentioned how much Tom talked about them – his two necessities, the best thing he ever did: being their father.
And he didn't give up. For 13 months, he endured chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, therapy, etc. in the hopes that a cure or treatment would improve prognosis and accordingly, his life. But it didn't.
So Tom spent the last few weeks of his life in hospice care. Being taken care of with love and dignity and allowing others the opportunity to say good bye was a reflection on the manner in which he lived his life. He touched many people, not as many as Stuart Scott but I like to believe that on a smaller scale, Tom showed people how to die but not lose to cancer. His children and I try to live our lives in the same manner. We didn't give up and we continue to live our lives in a way that shows that cancer didn't beat us. I thank the people at Midwest CareCenter for encouraging this response in us. Without their support at the end of Tom's life, I am not sure we would have realized that death isn't the worst thing that can happen to someone who is suffering with cancer ― what matters is the manner in which they lived.