If you have ever seen a loved one with one foot in the grave, then you will empathize with how stunned John and I were to see his beloved Uncle David in October 2010. Just a few months prior, David was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and given a mere few months to live. Intrepid, as always, David decided to make a farewell tour to see friends and family.

We knew David was ill, but we were not prepared for the ravages of his chemo treatments. It turns out that despite the worst life can toss at one, some people are just invincible. You see, Uncle David has a gift. He is one of the most optimistic people I have ever met. Lemons=lemonade, that is just the way it is. John and I must have looked pretty appalled to see David’s frailness, because one of the first things he said to us is “Don’t worry about me, cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me!” There are various reasons why he thinks this, which I won’t get into here. My point in sharing this anecdote is to illustrate how inherent Uncle David’s optimism is.

This past Martin Luther King Day weekend, John and I took a trip to the Bay area to visit Uncle David. Yes, a FULL year and a half after his diagnosis. Again, we did not know what to expect, but we were tickled pink to see David had regained his hair and about 30 pounds. He had graduated from his walker to a cane…but best of all he continues to maintain a high quality of life. David continues to hang out at his favorite coffee house, attend various groups (writing club, philosophy group, etc). Best of all, he has a girlfriend!

John and I were lucky to be able to spend time with David and Dee, whom David stated “brought back my laugh”. We visited Muir Woods, played games, and had a lovely brunch.

I am inspired by Uncle David and his zest for life. I am absolutely convinced that his optimism and verve are the secret to his longevity. Everyone has a list of people that shapes who we are, and Uncle David is on my list of role models. I aspire to be more like Uncle David and appreciate all of the love in my life.

David, John and I love you, and we appreciate all of the love and the joy that you share!