My father died January 2, 2012. He fought till the bitter end, as life meant so much more to him than giving up. Although diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September of that same year, he played golf and tennis with all of us on Thanksgiving. His motto: “exercise cures all”.
Unfortunately, exercise could not beat my father’s cancer. But he valiantly tried and I was left with a legacy that indeed, maybe cancer was the only thing exercise couldn’t cure.
This past week my sister and I had to face the ultimate challenge. We could procrastinate no more and had to actually go through my father’s life in possessions, travels, minutia, and saved pennies. It was painful, although I put on my business hat and plowed straight through, thinking of the remarkable legacy that my father left. His zest for life and his enthusiasm for every place he ever went to was evident in his home.
After four days we returned back to New York City and back into my life. The first day back I could not wake up. My body was so aching and so heavy. I felt as though I had not shed my father’s possessions but that I was wearing them on my physical body. I even approached that day with dread, knowing that it was “boot camp” day; a commitment I made to myself 3 weeks ago and had not missed a session.
We were running for distance that day and I informed the others that I didn’t think I could run, but I would walk. And instinctively, everyone left me alone. I began to walk. Little by little, I started to shed the extra weight. I tried to run – my body felt like lead. I walked and walked. Then I cried with a relief I had not felt before. I broke into a run and started laughing. Maybe Dad was right – exercise is the ultimate cure.