Today I am dressed in blue. Blue jeans, light blue turtleneck, royal blue sweater, and a silk scarf of Van Gogh's "Starry, Starry Night" given to me by Son Number One at Christmas. Today is Colon Cancer Awareness Day and those of us in the know are wearing blue.
Billy Hartford was a rascal. He had a sharp mind and a sharper tongue if you got on his list. But we loved him and it was mutual. Himself really enjoyed Billy's friendship, which always rather amazed me, because they could not have been less alike unless they'd come from two different planets. My tall, soft-spoken and quiet (but not shy) husband rarely uses a cuss word. Billy dropped F bombs like the sky is dropping snowflakes. But his heart was pure gold and God, did he make us laugh! He was a generous and caring friend, as loyal as a pit bull and twice as scary if anyone gave his pals a hard time. Then he found out he had Stage 4 Colon Cancer. There was no warning. He thought it was a stomach bug. His daughter was a month old.
There was nothing fair about it. He fought like the devil. He had surgeries and chemo and radiation and you name it. He had a ton of friends who prayed their knees off. He had an amazing wife who was and is the Rock of Gibraltar and who stuck by his side every minute, trying to balance the first year of motherhood with watching her best friend and hero fade in front of her eyes. It was a battle nobody could have won. We lost him on September 5 of last year, three and a half month's before his daughter's second birthday. He was 49.
That's too young to get a colonoscopy for most people. Who would have even given it a thought? Well, today we're asking you to give it a thought. If it's one of those things you've always put off because the idea is disgusting and embarrassing, too bad about you. Do it anyway. Do it for yourself. Or your spouse. Or your kids. Or your friends who would never be quite the same without you. Because sometimes it comes without a warning. It comes out of the blue.