We met Jerry in 1997 when we moved to Seba Beach, so this was a friendship that lasted. He owned the “old car place” in Gainford. We had a farm about 3 miles east of him. It was an instant friendship, even though we had nothing in common. Jerry had a lovely sense of humour and a gentle way about him. Many, many nights we would gather around Jerry and Yvonne’s dining table and visit. Even after we moved two hours away to a farm east of Edmonton, our friendship endured.
My friend Jerry died on Friday. Remember me talking about sitting in my wagon at the light on University Avenue when we took the Wild Pink Yonder flag to The Cross and thinking about my friend who was inside? My friend whose days were numbered? That was Jerry. He was a great supporter of my efforts for Wild Pink Yonder. I’ll miss his encouragement and his admiration. Yes, Jerry died of cancer. Many cancers actually. Unfortunately, Jerry was one of those men who didn’t like going to the doctor, so he didn’t go very often. When he got a lump in his thigh, he didn’t go until he could barely walk anymore. It was cancer and had already metastasized to his lungs. And later, he assumed he had a hernia so didn’t bother the doctor about that either. Again, it was cancer — in his lumph nodes. I don’t know how different the outcome would have been, but I’m sure Jerry would have had more time. The oncologists would have had a better chance of success, if he had just gone to the doctor sooner.
My friend Jerry died on Friday. I take a small amount of solace from the fact that I am doing something about cancer. I wish it were more. Wild Pink Yonder supports breast cancer research, but breast cancer isn’t just one disease. It comes in many different forms, and I’m sure whatever discoveries the researchers make about breast cancer will translate to other forms of cancer as well. Maybe even the ones that got my friend, Jerry.
My friend Jerry died on Friday. I don’t want any other of the men in my life to die like that. I don’t want my relatives or my friends to go through what Jerry went through. It was not an easy passing. So please remember that doctors are your friends. They aren’t out to make your life difficult. They are out to save it. So to all the men in my life … David, Rusty, Kevin, Michael, Steven, Kent, Paul, Don, Trevor, Bryce, Ben, Mark and every other man in my life … please … don’t be a tough guy! Look after yourselves.
My friend Jerry died on Friday … and my heart is breaking.