This morning at work I processed an order that was submitted online. It was about 100 pictures taken the other night at a concert by the Jonas Brothers. I joked that I had discovered what Hell is and that it involves having to process pictures of a manufactured teen idol pop group.
Later in my shift I received a phone call from my friend Randy. Randy and I are poker buddies and he was calling to see if I was up for a game tonight. During our conversation, he told me that Mike had passed away last week when I was in Florida. Mike is a guy I met through my friendship with Randy. He would come to Randy's house to be the dealer for our games.
Mike was dealing with colon cancer. He had been given a terminal diagnosis about a year and a half ago. The prognosis was he had about 4-6 months to live. Mike made it about a year longer than they gave him credit for. In the end, he had decided to live life as fully as possible. He had given up on medication other than that used for pain management. Mike was a card player, but the financial reality of his condition prohibited from playing, but he found pleasure just being around the game. When Randy started hosting games, Mike dealt the first night and dressed in a tuxedo for the occasion.
Though I did not know Mike well, we enjoyed many evenings around the card table. He endured a great deal of pain and general discomfort, but he never complained. He simply gave this advice, "No matter what else you do in life, do not get colon cancer."
I joked about Hell at work. Mike endured it and never had a bad word about it.