Cancer has hit my family hard over the last couple decades. This year I am collaborating with the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and I’ll be dedicating Doves of Hope to my Dad, who passed away last year from Mesothelioma at the age of 69.
I will also be dedicating Doves of Hope to my Dad’s older brother Dennis, who passed away from colon cancer in 2011, he too was 69 years old. And to my Dad’s mom who passed away from liver cancer in 1992.
And to my Mom’s older sister, who was diagnosed with Leukemia just over a decade ago. She defied the destructive disease and is cancer free today.
There is hope!
My Dad won’t be defined by his short eight month battle with cancer. He was much, much more. He was our cheerleader, our tour guide, our protector, our paparazzi, our mentor, and our hero. There is now a massive void in my life.
When I was little, I wanted to be just like him. He was an amazing designer, architect, builder, and artist. I collected paint samples and coloured on blueprints. I’d visit bathrooms in restaurants and give him my opinion on the design. He was the first person I’d call when I needed help deciding on the look of a room. He taught me to ride my bike and drive my car. He took us camping, to the water slides, and tobogganing too. He took us shopping, he bought us flowers and chocolates. He exampled before me how to live a generous lifestyle and to trust God with everything you have.
- He was a giver. He gave much of his little time to others and ministries around the world. He supported countless missionaries and helped start and run relief projects. He gave even when he had nothing to give.
- He was selfless.
- He was kind.
- He was always thinking, planning, dreaming. He was often misunderstood as his face expressed something entirely different than what he was thinking. His brain was constantly going full speed ahead. I’m sure he juggled more thoughts than most of us could handle.
- He had a HUGE sweet tooth and a LOVE for ice cream and goodies! My mom was a health nut… who do you think supplied us with our treat money!!
- He was generous…… not just with money, but with his time and talent.
- He was a hard worker. All throughout his chemo treatments he worked to make sure my mom and his girls were taken care of. He was writing leases for tenants up to a few days before he passed away.
- He loved. He simply loved. He loved his girls. He loved our mom. He loved his grand-babies. He loved his great grand-babies. He loved so many.
If you want to learn more about him, and trust me, it’s an interesting read… head over to the Eulogy my sister and I gave at his celebration of life last year. He was one of a kind. He loved us BIG MUCH! He finished off each letter, email, text, greeting by saying, “Love you, Big Much!” That phrase means a lot to our family. My older sister even got a tattoo to memorialize it!
There isn’t a week that passes where I don’t find myself thinking about him. There are days when I can’t stop crying. There are moments when I am overwhelmed and crippled with emotions. There NEEDS to be a cure for this terrible disease!
Take a few moments to dedicate a Dove of Hope in honour of a loved one lost to cancer. Each Dove represents one person and their unique journey. For grieving families like mine, or those bravely battling cancer today, the paper and digital doves “fly” in an incredibly meaningful display of hope and strength. There’s no charge for creating and dedicating a Dove. If you are able to make a small donation, the hope that the Doves represent will be amplified. Doves of Hope donations are used to support The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Their goal is to exceed the $1 million raised in 2016.
Dedicate a Dove to a loved one today. Click the link and go to “Create a Dove” — together, let’s help give hope to others this holiday season.
May these Doves unite us all in our vision to conquer cancer in our lifetime.