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Today I Celebrate

Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010


It’s sobering how we can go through such an ordeal and come out the other side with war wounds we thought unimaginable prior to our battle allowing us to call ourselves survivors. The people on the staged TV series don’t have a clue in the true meaning of becoming a survivor.


Two months prior to being told I had cancer I lost my Dad. For no apparent reason he decided it was time for him to leave this earth. It is the only selfish act my family and I can recall him being guilty of. I was devastated and confused with how an 80 year old in perfect health could do such a thing. Then like another brick to the head, two months later I was told I had cancer. My initial thought was now I can ask Dad what the hell was going through his mind other than the bullet he put through it. My life seemed to be in a downward spiral and I had serious doubts that getting it back on track would be possible.  Soon after my radiation treatments and returning to work I had stopped into a diner for lunch. While sitting waiting for my bowl of soap I seen a man sitting in a both that I swore was my Dad. He was sitting alone motionless and I thought maybe he may have been waiting on someone. Having to use the restroom which was stationed between us I got up and walked towards him and I couldn’t take my eyes off him thinking my God this man is my Dad. We made eye contact and I wanted to go and sit down but couldn’t muster up what I would say. I almost walked past the restroom door but as I caught myself he smiled and nodded his head as if to say hello as I went through the doorway. While taking care of business I convinced myself that I had to approach this man and explain myself. In my line of business I have to say things off the cuff all the time and couldn’t believe I didn’t do so on the way in. I left the restroom and made a right to approach him and he was gone. I stood by the empty both and it was already set up for the next customer.


Today I celebrate my thirtieth birthday (twice) and words can’t describe the tingling feeling I get when I think back about my personal ordeal. Yes, God, family and friends inspired my survival with unquestionable support. But my Dad gave me so much more, he gave me the nod which doesn’t make up for what he took away from my family but it did help to soften the blow for me.  


God bless every fighter, caregiver, and survivor. I’ve been blessed with far more than I deserve and although I don’t always express it, I am thankful for it every day. I thank God for today and tell him I look forward to tomorrow. Now I am going to celebrate 60 years of life and especially the last 3 that cancer tried to take away.


Enjoy the day……….I certainly will.




Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

Happy Birthday~~

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

Sounds to me like you're going to make it a great day for yourself!! Smile 


Posts: 1104
Joined: Jan 2011

I am proud of the number I am getting to, each number is a win for me.  Happy 30th and many more!

Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

Your story is amazing!  I hope you have a fantastic birthday and many, many more!

peggylulu's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Dec 2012

Birthday to a Survivor ! Wow what a story . Something had to be going on in his mind that no one but him knew about . I can not imagin how hard that must have been for you and your family . I don't look at that as a selfish thing anymore (I did when I was young ) I look at it as a mental problem. Hope this helps and hope you have a GREAT 60th celebration young man !!


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Oh man that story of yours is totally awesome.  Your Father I believe gave you the gift of knowing he's o.k. and you'll be o.k.  Forgiveness is ours to give out freely, and so is unconditional love.  You my friend have the ability to see this with clear vision.  Have a wonderful day !  Hugs sent !  Katie

fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Happy Birthday Jeff!

I believe there is a reason for the events that happen on our lives. We may not understand or get an answer immediately. That's in God's hands and His time. When things/events happen to me, I often don't understand nor know the reason why. Eventually the reasons are revealed to me and it's as if a weight gets lifted off my shoulders. 

The nod from your "Dad" in the booth represents such a moment. Remember, there is no such thing as coincidence, it's just a miracle without His autograph.

Enjoy the day and celebrate life. 

Positive thoughts and prayers


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4317
Joined: May 2012


Some of us get the brick to the head before cancer and some after.  I still want to hit the snooze alarm to my wake up call.  If you filter all the H&N advice through a post-cancer sieve, you come away with accepting the “new normal” and doing something (anything) with your time left.

The man in the diner, the off the cuff remark and the next customer all left a lot unsaid, you are almost and real life mystery writer.

You are lucky your birthday is (twice) thirty, 59 or 61 doesn’t have the same ring to it.  Hey, can you enjoy ice-cream with that cake or like me, not so much?

Keep living it up,


wolfen's picture
Posts: 1313
Joined: Apr 2009

A BIG Happy Birhday to you!

I am so sorry your Dad chose to leave. In my heart, I believe his Angel made a visit to let you know that he is okay and that you were going to be okay, also. Who, among us, could swear differently? There are many unexplained mysteries and we all find comfort in different ways.

My Dad has been gone for 36 years, but I still feel his strength and wisdom. For many years after his passing, he visited(only in my dreams) just to help me through this life. When he is ready, I know that Ron will do the same.



sin9775's picture
Posts: 199
Joined: May 2013

 The happiest of birthdays to you, Jeff.  That's a hell of a story.  I am looking forward to reading the next chapter!  May our gracious Lord bless you with many more happy and healthy birthdays.  Have a great night!



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Happy B-day Jeff

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I believe whole heartedly what "T" said. I could share many stories with you about things such as the gentleman in the booth. But, I'll save that for another day Wink. I've been told I have a little clairvoyance about me...my sense of smell, hearing, and  sight are extremely sensitive at times...and I'm a very intuitive person...even scares me. So...I encourage you to keep a smile on your face about the man in the booth.

Glad you have such a great outlook on life right now, in spite of what has transpired. Sometimes....it's simply a little wake up. 

God Bless,


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

Happy Bday Jeff ...and many, many more ..


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Just teasing, I hit that mark on my next as well... February to be more specific.

What you have experienced and endured over the years, and especially the last few. It's what makes us who we are, it defines us, what kind of a person we have become.

I think you wear that experience well...

Best ~ John

tommyodavey's picture
Posts: 565
Joined: Nov 2011

Happy Birthday Jeff!  You are only 57 buddy.  Subtract the three years of illness and that's what you got!  You are twice the survivor for having to deal with the death of your father.  My condolances.


My Dad said that most of his life.  He was sick in the hospital for an entire year when he was 9 so he always subtracted the loss of the year when it came to his birthday.  Now I find myself saying the same thing.  And I was lucky it only took a year to get back to 80% of my previous health.


May you celebrate your third 30th birthday too!



Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you all for the birthday wishes.  I had an uneventful day, I  observed two of my grandchildren take swim lessons. Came home and made homemade ice cream with the ice cream maker my daughter got me for Father’s Day.

Katie and “T’ you’re both right. Funny how after that event, I found it very comforting rather than upsetting. A lot of the anger I had within towards my Dad for what he did seemed lifted.

Matt……………There was no cake chaser just the ice cream. I figured I practiced so much after radiation to get my taste back for ice cream, I wasn’t about to throw off the taste buds with having to chew cake. Besides when I celebrate 40 twice maybe I will have some cake. Gives me something to look forward to.

John…………Age is just a number. Quite often people have told me especially my parents when I was younger to “Act your age” I never plan on doing that. What fun would that be?

Tonight I am going down to the Valley Forge Casino and gamble some of the kids inheritance money on the crap table and I plan to take off work tomorrow because I can.

Thanks again for all for the kind words and birthday wishes. If I would have had a cake with candles my wish would have been a cure so nobody would ever have to go through what so many of us have.

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1648
Joined: Dec 2012

Sorry for the belated b-day wishes but each year brings a new perspective. You've seen a lot of living with still much to come. Happy Bday!

CherieLW's picture
Posts: 472
Joined: May 2013


Just seeing this now so happy belated birthday!  Glad you are around to celebrate many more! 

Sorry about your dad.  It is uncomparable I know but my dad also lost his father (to health issues) about 2 months before he was diagnosed with his cancer.  I know it was hard for him to deal with being diagnosed and I can only imagine what its like for you in a very different situation. 

Praying for you and hope you are feeling better each day.


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

jeff, i was w/o a computer for a week, so happy belated birthday!  i look forward to celebrating ur 1st 40th with u.


rachel12yrsuv's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Feb 2013

Happy birthday my friend!  What a beautiful and moving story i truly believe that God does work in mysterious ways!  I owe you an email, ill get there, i have been at boyfriends cabin for 10 days with Faith(trying to make the best summer ever to make up for missing Christmas with her, for both of us).  Wanted to check on my buddies and uours was the first post i read and grateful that it was such a story!


love ya,


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