Seahawks v 49ers – Fulfilling a Friend’s Final Wish
As many of you know, my very good friend David is dying from cancer. I met David in June of 2008, when I moved into the building where he already lived. We became close friends quickly when we discovered our birthdays were the same day. It’s a little coincidence, but sometimes things like that break the ice.
David was diagnosed with cancer a week after I met him. Because he hadn’t gone in for a prostate screening, by the time the cancer was noticed, it had already spread to his bones and it was too late to do anything other than slow the growth.
For over two years, David had an excellent quality of life. He went through bouts of chemotherapy and radiation that weren’t pleasant, but he wasn’t in pain and, when he wasn’t undergoing treatment, his illness didn’t slow him down.
Several months ago, David started to go downhill. His doctors set him up with in-home hospice care, and they took care of him in many ways. One of the things they asked David was if he had a last wish. David, though a Seattle resident for many years, lived in San Francisco much longer. He is a die hard football fan, and his favorite team is undoubtedly the 49ers. He always wanted to go to one of the annual Seahawks/49ers games, but had never been able to afford the tickets. Consequently, that was his wish.
A couple weeks ago, David really took a turn for the worse. We thought he wasn’t going to make it to see his birthday. Then, for a few days last week, he rebounded. We enjoyed a somewhat subdued birthday celebration that day, and he was also notified he had been gifted four tickets for the September 12th game. Not only tickets for the game, but VIP passes to hang out on the sidelines for about an hour before the game started. He was in heaven!
Unfortunately, last Sunday David had to be hospitalized. He was rapidly growing weaker, and his mind started getting clouded. He called it “confused,” but I’ve been through this before and I knew better. On Monday, it was found the cancer has spread to David’s brain. On Tuesday, he was admitted to an adult care facility, where he will spend his last few days with proper medical care.
We visit him often and let him know he is loved.
Sadly, David wasn’t anywhere near well enough to be able to go to the game today. I won’t go into the details of his condition. If you know David, we’ve talked about it. If you don’t know, it would only be clinical and depressing.
Because the tickets couldn’t go to anyone else, and because the organizations involved felt strongly David should be represented at the game, four of us went in David’s honor. We were treated with the utmost hospitality and cordiality by the “Area 12” folks at Qwest Field. I don’t have the paperwork with me at the moment, but once I do, I will update this post to give credit to the people who made this happen. Suffice it to say, David’s friends are grateful we were able to fulfill his wish, even though he couldn’t be there in person to enjoy it.
One of David’s friends is a brilliant photographer. Recently, he took the best photo of David I have ever seen. He had it blown up and matted, and we took it to the field today with us, so David could be there in a way.
I like football, but David is a football fanatic. I wondered whether I should don the red jersey today and go for the 49ers, but David wouldn’t have wanted that. He liked talking smack when his team was in town. And he and I watched the games in friendly rivalry. Consequently, when the Seahawks handed the 49ers a total smack down today, I didn’t feel bad. The final score was Seahawks: 31, 49ers: 6, David S. Joyner: loved.
Finally, I just wanted to point out I promised some of my Twitter friends I would never tweet about football…ever. Today, I broke that promise. I am very sorry, but I’m sure I will be forgiven, given the circumstances.
Below are some pictures from today’s event. I apologize for the quality. I only had my BlackBerry with me. If I’d known how bad the pictures would be, I would have taken a better camera. The pictures may not be great, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone at Providence Hospice and at the Seahawks organization for make this day possible. The next best thing to David experiencing this himself was for four friends to go in his place and celebrate his life. We are forever grateful.