Monday, September 22, 2008

Still loving life

Last night Dave and I enjoyed the Phil Vassar concert. Since it was at the casino, there was an interesting mix of people -- Die-hard Phil Vassar fans and frequent casino patrons (many of whom looked older and was commenting that they’d never heard of Phil before). Consequently, I had to deal with the awkwardness of wanting to stand up and sing with the knowledge of the people behind me were sitting and wouldn’t be standing for a concert if their like depended on it. But still it was a great show.

A couple of rows in front of us (we were in the sixth row, so they were in the 2nd or 3rd) was a family with two children. They caught be eye because the mom was trying to get them to go up right next to the stage. They had a sign that said “Phil’s Little Fans” and one of the kids (probably 6 years old) was wearing a cowboy hat. I’d be willing to bet that this was their first real concert. I thought it was sweet thing for a family to do together.

So then Phil started playing a song called “My Next Thirty Years.” (He wrote it, but Tim McGraw is probably more known for singing it). It’s a coming of age song…the lyrics talk about how you’re going to spend the next 30 years of your life to live it to the fullest...not living a crazy lifestyle, but choosing to spend it with your family and just enjoy what you’ve been blessed with. The dad took out a sign and went up to the stage. You could tell he was trying to get Phil to read it. I couldn’t read it b/c it was facing the stage, but you could tell it had quite a bit of words on it. Dave couldn’t figure it out either. So when the song was over, Phil went over to the guy and asked the dad to come onto the stage. When the guy got on the stage, I could finally read the sign.

It read, “35 years old, survived cancer twice and still loving life.”

Yes, I got a little emotional reading this guy's sign. Seeing him stand there on the stage getting a hug from Phil. And he got to announce the next song. With his two kids and his wife watching him. I’m sure his families had big smiles on their faces (they were watching their Dad, so I couldn’t see their faces). Proud of their Daddy. Talk about overcoming obstacles and then enjoying life to the fullest with his family.
I was happy for that family. Those kids will always remember going to the Phil Vassar concert with their Mom and Dad and seeing their Dad on the stage. It’s a blessing that the medicine he needed to beat cancer twice exists, so that he could have that moment with his family.

I guess you never know when you’re walking down the street or when your sitting in an auditorium how many people you’ll come across that are cancer survivors. It just helped reinforce my excitement for the Light the Night walk I’m doing in a couple of weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. To me, it verified the importance of raising money for cancer support groups, research, treatment and information booklets.

My mom once told me that her goal in life when she dies is to have made this world a better place. It leave it a little bit better than it was before. It’s simple and there are so many ways we can all try to make our world a little bit better. Please consider donating to my team and help make our world a little bit better for those struggling with cancer, so that they can enjoy their next 30 years with their families.

I’m only $5 away from my goal. Please help me. Every bit helps. You can contribute by visiting my donation page. Thank you so much – especially to those who have already donated!

My Next 30 Years
By Phil Vassar

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years
Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years
My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years
Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years
My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, In my next thirty years


  1. Cool!

    On Monday I was reminded that two years ago Gavin had his surgery to remove his tumor. Two years later, he was busy building forts with his neighborood pals and running around as any 8 year old should! What miracles we all see, and experience!

    It is awesome that the dad you saw on stage was celerating his experience with his family!


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