with gratitude to those who cared for my dad & my family

As a family, words aren't enough to express the support we received from the day our dad/husband was diagnosed with cancer. We never anticipated how much support and love would be extended to us, yet we only attribute this to the love our dad gave to so many when he was alive. It really was how he lived his life. He simply loved helping others.

We also want to point out how much it meant to us that many across the country and the globe were praying for my dad's physical recovery. We are a family of faith and that was a key component in helping us get through this. Knowing his cancer was already in stage four at the point of diagnosis, it made us more fervent in seeking others to join us in pray. So many of you took time from your busy schedules to stop and say a prayer for him. We are so appreciative that you did this for him and for us. May God remember your kindness to us.

The very presence of friends is pleasant in bad fortune as well as in good, for grief is lightened when friends sorrow with us. - Aristotle

There are so many people to thank that to try and list each person would only risk leaving some out. However, there are a few people we felt we needed to specifically thank.

Aunt Rosemary (dad's sister)

We cannot tell you how special it was to have you fly down from Canada to help us through this most difficult time. You were a shoulder to lean on, while at other times, you were a shoulder to cry on. For dad, having his sister by his side really touched him. We could see it in his eyes. Even amidst the suffering he went through, we were so happy when he grinned and you were so instrumental in getting him to smile. As you know humor has always been a hallmark of our family lineage. It was a gift grandpa gave you and dad, and then passed on to us. Thankfully, humor was never absent from this painful journey. Both you and dad made us laugh even when it was so difficult to smile, and you brought a necessary joy into our lives when it was most appropriate and most critical. We already miss you but grateful for the time and service you gave to us. We love you dearly.

Mr. Mark Brody (close friend of dad for so many years, and now a permanent Uncle :-))

Little did I know when I visited Dad and Mom what would occur on June 1st. The minute we were told of this devastating news, it seemed like we were in a storm that couldn't be stopped especially since we didn't know the primary source of the cancer. We also didn't know if we had a few days, weeks, or months with dad. What an anxious and stressful time that was for us.

Yet, from the very beginning, you were there calling doctors, giving us advice and, most of all, encouraging us not to give up. I'm not sure what I or my family would have done without you. You continually researched and brought together so many potential doctors and key people in our time of crises. And your phone calls were always timely and, at times, therapeutic.

More importantly, I thank you for being such a loyal friend to my dad. He saw you as a man of great integrity. Being raised in a home where honesty was modeled, not just taught, it was always common to hear dad encourage us to live lives of honesty and integrity, not leaving one stone unturned. Dad always sought out men and women who lived such lives and I can now see why he was so close to you. I remember (after you left the hospital one evening) dad telling us how much he loved you as a brother and could always trust you. After seven long weeks, I can now see why he had such respect for you. In time, I hope to get to know you as my dad once did. Thanks for being there right by our side.

Vicki Miller (cousin)

You're medical expertise and network at North Shore University was so instrumental in getting dad into that hospital and receiving such great care despite his debilitating condition. You helped us understand the technical jargon we were fed. Even amidst the plethora of information we received daily, you were there to guide us and make clear what seemed "cloudy" at times. You're love for dad and our family was so evident and even brought a smile to him whenever you showed up.

Also, thanks for putting up with my many phone calls. Not having any background in cancer, or the medical field in general, you helped me better assimilate the vast amount of information in order to see the big picture. We love you and your entire family so much.

Frank Martell (uncle)

I can remember the many trips you took from PA to visit dad and the family. Always positive, encouraging us to somehow seek God's perspective in light of the situation, you faithfully stood by mom and the three of us. From my perspective that was simply an extension of your life: continually reaching out to friends and family just to make them feel significant and loved.

Throughout the years I remember how excited I would be whenever mom or dad told me that you were coming to visit for the holidays. Like clock work, you showed up even amidst difficult circumstances and a very demanding schedule. Your presence always impacted me then and it, once again, touched my heart as you traveled on your weekends to visit dad and support us. Again I simply say, "Thank you."

Huntington Hospital & North Shore University Hospital Nurses

I'm afraid there are a group of individuals who often get overlooked - especially the nurses who took care of my father. These wonderful angels spent countless hours with him, giving him the best of care a cancer patient deserves. I watched these nurses as they administered their care to my father and, at the same time, I watched my father miraculously place a smile on the face of each nurse as they entered his room. He was so gracious to them, but his appreciation came out of the genuine love the nurses offered my father.

I recently went back to visit some of the nurses at Huntington Hospital to express my thanks to them. It was so nice to see them again, but for me, it was the opportunity to tell them in person how much they meant to me and my family. Several times this year I wanted to stop by the nurses station, but it simply was too painful to try and walk down that hall again. I will return again to share my heart with each of you, and I will also make a trip to North Shore University Hospital at some point to thank those special individuals. I remember each of you very well.

May you never forget that your healing goes far beyond the medical skills you administer to your patients. I learned from you how compassion can be, perhaps, one of the greatest sources of comfort for those facing terminal illnesses. I pray I will have the opportunity to thank the rest of you in time. If not now, may I be privileged to meet you in heaven with my father and express our thanks to you. It's amazing to see a little one enter this world. But it's another thing to be by someone's side as they begin their real life in eternity.