In the years that have passed since I lost my father to mesothelioma, I have often looked at events, not only in my life and immediate community, but also globally, and wondered, what would Dad think about this? Sometimes, they are lighthearted happenings, others, more sober topics; Dad was interested in most things and I loved hearing his opinions and simple wisdom applied to anything and everything.
If Dad were to look at the advocacy that his family continues with the mesothelioma community, I think he would be proud. His smile beaming, eyes sparkling, as they did any time someone did something that he thought was admirable and good. He was an advocate with us before he lost his fight, and I know that he was excited to continue on with his work; now it continues through those who love him.
If my father saw the success that some friends are having with their mesothelioma treatments, he would be ecstatic, praising God and congratulating them on their progress. To see the other side, however, the number of those who have since passed, his heart would be broken and he would be working to console their families.
Seeing the recent revelations about asbestos being used in children’s make up, I know that he would have been so sad. Dad loved children and the thought of a child being exposed to something so life-shattering would cause his heart great pain and sorrow. I’m sure that he would have had some strong feelings of how this should be handled.
I think about Dad every second of every day. Still, four years later, I find myself picking up the phone to call and tell him about something going on that I know would interest him. Even though he can’t pick up, I do take time to think about what his reaction would have been. This is a practice that keeps his memory alive in my heart, and I know that he smiles knowing that I’m still thinking about the wisdom he imparted on me and my family.