Tuesday, May 17, 2011

He just wants to live. That's all.

Last week was one of those weeks where you learn that it is far better to give than it is to receive. Where you understand how important it is to offer yourself up to the service of others. Where you learn just how much of a difference a small group of people can make in the life of anyone in need of support.

When I first heard the news about David Pugh's illness, I was, like so many others, distraught. I couldn't believe that someone so young... someone with whom I shared classes in elementary and high school (Chapin was too small for middle school back in those days)... someone that I grew up with... someone with a strong body and a heart of gold...  how he could possibly be as sick as he was. But, there he was, in his early 30s with a beautiful wife and precious little boy, stricken with a cancer so rare and aggressive that it was hard to comprehend. And my heart, and everyone else's, just broke for them.

To date, he's put up one hell of a fight. He's a testament to lasting faith, absolute will, and a determination that can't be shaken. He's been through rounds and rounds of chemo and radiation. He's undergone surgery after surgery. He's had piles and piles of tests. He's received good news and then bad. He's gotten better and worse. And he's never given up. He wants to live, people, live. He wants to be there for his wife and kid... to be a husband and father and brother and son and friend. He just wants to live. That's all.

And that's what everyone else wants for him. Until last weekend, many of us had listened from the sidelines. We've read his incredible wife's Caring Bridge reports and sent prayers and kind words. We've shared his story with others and held our own families a little closer. We've stopped sweating the small stuff and been thankful for our own blessings. But last weekend, out of the leadership of two Chapin girls, some of us were able to put our thoughts and prayers into action, even if just for a little bit, making contributions to the efforts of a silent auction and a rummage sale for David's benefit.

In all, $7500 was raised for David and his family. Because he was so sick from the treatments, our friend was unable to attend, though he really wanted to be there. He did share a few precious words with everyone over speaker on his sister's phone. I will never forget how appreciative he was or how kind and loving he was. He was just the way I remembered him from so many years ago. In those moments when he was talking to us, of course I cried a little a lot for David and his family, but I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to hear his voice. And I realized that that is why we help others. Because they need it and we need it. We need to help people. It's what makes us human. It's what makes the world work.

So, if any of you would like to help out, please do. It'll make you feel good. I promise.

Here's the address to his Caring Bridge page:

If you're interested in helping any other way, please get in touch with me, and I'll help you figure out what to do.  

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