To say that today, January 28th, is a significant day would be a vast understatement. Today marks one year since doctors found the blob in my dad’s head and one year since my dad and I wrote our first blog post titled “Tumor Humor”. Today marks one month since December 28th, 2013, the day of my dad’s “graduation” (if you will). And today has aptly been declared “Loren Nancarrow Day” in San Diego.
The number 28 has come to us recurrently this past year — which is fitting, really. In numerology, the number 28 creates the number 1 — if you believe in that sorta stuff (we certainly do). Let me share with you a little bit about the number 1:
The 1 is a doer, a powerful force that produces results and does not allow anything or anyone to limit its’ potential. The 1 is always in the forefront: a spearpoint directing and leading others. The shape of the number 1, just like the shape of all other symbols, reflects its meaning; it walks upright with pride and purpose. Strong, determined, unwavering and with specific goals in mind, the 1 can turn dreams and ideas into reality.
The 1 grows, transforms and improves in perpetuity, precisely the way Mother Nature does. After all, nature’s primal force and most basic building block is the number 1. Nature knows no mercy and its’ cruelty can be heartbreaking. However, it knows balance and gives life indiscriminately and without judgment. It is, if you haven’t guessed, the most masculine of all numbers. There is a certain quality, a sense of honor and responsibility that demands our respect, and it has a sense of justice that cannot be denied.
So, in honor of this 28th day, I went back through our blog and read each of my dad’s posts for the first time since we wrote them. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me — but what I found, without a doubt, was worth finding. Here, on January 28th, are 28 memorable quotes from my dad that can teach us all a little something about living:
1. My strength will come from humor—not worry.
2. I find wonder in sunrises and sunsets, the relationship between a bee and a flower makes my eyes wide.
3. The workings of this world mystify me daily.
4. I’m not giving up and never will.
5. There is no time to dwell on the negative.
6. [Brain cancer]…is not something I asked for but I accept it and I see it as my latest journey. My senses are sharper, my appreciation is deeper and each experience holds more wonder.
7. I just want to offer a few words of encouragement: If you ever find yourself suddenly faced with this seemingly torturous medical sentence—don’t sweat it. You can do this!
8. Get out there and speak truth to power. Our words and pictures are still the most powerful tool we have to make a difference.
9. I don’t know how this chapter of my life will end. I’m hopeful and I’m treating it much as I’ve treated other challenges in my life—with hard work where it’s needed and plenty of jokes where they’re not.
10. While I hate cancer, I’m so happy that it has given me a chance to learn from its’ survivors.
11. Turns out I liked being informed of my statistical odds. I appreciate the sense of urgency it provides. It reminds me that there’s a lot of life left to live.
12. Everything seems new.
13. The moment I’m living in now is what I’ve got.
14. I want keep this good feeling going.
15. I’m obsessed with having a good time.
16. Peace and compost, San Diego.
17. I’ve got man stuff to do—rattlesnakes to wrangle, fires to build and facial hair to grow.
18. No panicking allowed, these are the easy times.
19. I’m doing my best to remember that others have it far worse
20. If you’ve got cancer: DON’T FREAKING GIVE UP.
21. I’ve been so impressed by all of the survivors I’ve met in recent months. Thank you for teaching me how to be strong.
22. There’s something I’ve been feeling lately — it’s a feeling of inclusion, of belonging to a group of badass people fighting for their lives…I’m inspired by my teammates. I’m inspired their energy, their drive and their reluctance to give up.
23. I’m wishing strength for you in your own personal battles with illness and all of life’s other lemons.
24. As I transform from this world, I hope to be thrilled by what I experience next.
25. Now I’ve come to the next road in my journey, where I’m learning acceptance, and to be at peace with the understanding that my time is extremely limited.
26. Happiness lies in discovering your passions and exploring them fiercely…Wherever they are, whatever they may be, seek out your passions and cultivate them.
27. The most important lesson I’ve learned throughout all of this, is that it is far better to do good for others, than to do good for oneself.
28. I believe that life is energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. And whatever form I take on next, I just hope my connection to those I love will remain.
Well Dad, I feel a connection to you whenever I look at the ocean or see a bird in flight. I feel a connection when I drive your car, when I take Django for a walk and when I wear your t-shirts to bed at night. I feel you in the kitchen, at our Starbucks down the street and every time I hear your favorite songs on the radio. And I certainly feel connected to you today.
HAPPY LOREN NANCARROW DAY, SAN DIEGO.