The following are the things that I have learned through life:
Never give up. Through having cancer, I have learned that one can’t always believe the doctor, who at one time only gave me three weeks to live. Keep fighting it, keep doing it, and be stubborn, but be open to other people.
Faith in God is important. I don’t know why I’m still here. I am not all that religious, but I am a believer. I have learned how to say no. One can’t do everything. Never be afraid to say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Ask for God’s forgiveness.
Recovery is important. Through recovery, I have gotten through a lot. My recovery is following the AA program, especially the serenity prayer. I’ve learned to listen to other people’s stories. (Mine isn’t the worst, believe me.) I’ve had 23 years of sobriety since 10/21/75.
Learn to be humble. I’ve learned to be as honest as you can be. If you want something, for God’s sake, ask for it. You can’t read minds. The “wisdom to know the difference” comes from God. Be the best person you can be. This may mean to do the simple things like have a fire pit, and roast hot-dogs and marshmallows.
Be generous with love. Through my mother and a neighbor named Gus, I’ve learned to have a good sense of humor. Learn to live day by day and have acceptance of another’s quirkiness. Have a willingness to be open.
My hopes for my family and friends: I hope that everyone can learn to get along. Whatever will happen will happen; one must learn to accept that and not control it. Forgive whatever misunderstandings or differences there are. Not all people can be the same. I hope, especially for my family, to get along in life and make a living for themselves. I hope that all can believe in God. I hope that you can remember the good memories, such as going on the camping trips.
A special note to my seven kids: Each one of you is so different. You wouldn’t know that you were related except for your looks. But you all have a little bit of me hanging around you, some good, and some not so good.
Finally, I am thankful for all those who have been good to me and have been helpful. I’ve learned to live a good life. I hope a good life for all.