The person who got and lost their battle with cancer that I was the closest to was my Mom, and awesome lady who died on her 62 birthday due to a "female" cancer, never really found out what type it was because she was inoperable because the tumor was so big by the time she decided that I could drag her butt to the doctor.
Anyway, lost another sweet family member to cancer this week, my uncle Ralph. Ralph was interesting to be around because he was a Mule packer in the Grand Canyon and in Grant Grove/Sequoia area. He surely loved what he did and continued to lead packing trips long after he retired. He fought prostate cancer for quite a few years and in the last year it spread to his liver and other parts of the body. Ralph was the baby of my Dad's family, the Wass family. He was loved so much by all of his family but especially his brothers and sisters.
Ralph loved his wife Pat VERY much, together since she was 15 years old. Ralph loved and took great pride in his 3 kids and many grandkids, even nieces and nephews.
My Dad was quite a bit older than Ralph so Ralph was kind of like a son to him. Often Pat and Ralph and family would stay with us when they came to Mariposa, for the farm family reunion, or just to visit.
I will always remember when my Daughter in law died, I was with my Son all the way across the united states, and Ralph encouraged Tanya (his daughter) to come to the funeral, I think Ralph may have even helped pay for the plane ticket. It meant the world to me and to my son when Tanya and her grown son walked into the church during the funeral. It is a day I will never forget, I was so thankful they were there - when other family could not make the trip due to work and other obligations.
Ralph's memorial will be on my Birthday, I am not sad about that, but will always remember him on my birthday from now on, and keep a very special man with me. I know he is with my Dad and family. Hope there are a lot of horses and Mules in heaven for you to care for and ride dear Uncle.