9 May 2017

The Heart of a Lion

My dad's name was Leon, but to his friends he was "Lee."  And to his "grandthings" he was "BIGFOOT." Always.  He insisted on that.  (If you were lucky enough to know my father, you know that he was a character.)

Dad passed away on November 25, 2016, one day shy of his 82nd birthday and about five months after celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with the love of his life.
Mom and Dad on one of their early dates at the Naval Academy in 1955.
The end seemed to come quickly and suddenly, and it took our breath away.  But Dad's death was not really unexpected; just a month and a half before, we had gotten the tragic news that after years of blood disorders, frequent trips to the hematologist, and regular transfusions at the cancer center, he had full-blown leukemia.  Without treatment, he had maybe 3-6 months to live; but there was a slim chance that chemotherapy might buy him a year or two.  He chose the chemotherapy route, because as hard as his life had become over the past few years, dealing with so much pain and illness, he had one goal and one goal only: to stay alive as long as possible so that he could take care of my mother.  That was what he prayed for daily.  That was what he was living for.

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