Todd and my Dad
Our nephew, Todd, lost his battle with melanoma this past week.
We were hoping for a miracle but that was not to be.
When we went to Arizona last month, it wasn't for a vacation.
It was to say goodbye to a brave, strong and much loved young man.
And brave and strong he was. The doctor told him he had two to three months to live and he wasn't that far off in his estimation, although the coma part that he talked about didn't come to be. That was good but that was only a portion of the miracle we were hoping for.
Todd had been diagnosed with melanoma last year, and after surgery, he was declared free of cancer. He had regular check ups since and was doing fine until his last MRI when lesions in his lungs and then in his brain were found. He had brain surgery and when he was well enough to leave the hospital, his parents went to Virginia and brought him to the family home in Arizona. On the way home they visited a few of the states that Todd hadn't been able to see during his many travels for USA Today and his job.
Todd was optimistic and enjoyed life up to the end and he has set the bar very high for the rest of us when we find ourselves facing any kind of adversity.
Todd lived with his parents; my brother, Bruce and sister-in-law, Meg and his sister, our niece, Kristen, during his early years of high school and college in Clovis and Fresno, California. He graduated from Fresno State and took jobs with a couple of newspapers in the state. He then went to Virginia and was hired as sports design editor and photographer for USA Today/Sports Weekly.
He was a great sports enthusiast and dearly loved the San Francisco Giants. He was so happy to be able to attend a Giants game just two weeks ago in Arizona with two of his good friends. That was a good day. He was in attendance at the White House after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series.
This shot of Todd taken from Face Book, courtesy of one of his friends. I hope whoever took it won't mind that I used it. It is such a good picture.
If you might be interested in seeing Todd's great talent for photography, sports and journalism, you can visit his website and blog:
Todd was honored by the Morristown, Arizona, Fire Department recently, where he was outfitted with an official suit from the Medi-Vacs and taken up for a ride on one of the Medi-Vac helicopters. That was another good day.
Todd and his dad, Bruce,
on the steps of their home in Fresno.
Photo taken around 1990.
Todd was a soft spoken, talented and a highly intelligent young man. He had a big heart and everyone thought very highly of him. He enjoyed his career and because of that career, he was able to travel around the United States and see the country and meet some important people in the sports world.
He had so many friends. How many, I really wasn't aware of until I looked at his Face Book page. He was so fortunate to have known and cared about all these wonderful people that loved and admired him. Above all else he loved his family and took great pride in his nephew and niece, John and Amanda.
Our nephew, Todd, and our son, Brent.
Here are two young men who were taken way too soon.
Our families and friends will mourn their loss.
They will be forever missed and always loved.
Courtesy of Pinterest
"You can shed tears because they are gone,
Or you can smile because they lived.
You can close your eyes and pray
that they'll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all they have left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see them,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can remember only that they are gone,
Or you can cherish all the memory you shared,
And let them live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
Be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what they would have wanted:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on."
R. I. P.
We love you.
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