Today I wanted to take moment to pay tribute to someone very special. His name was John Clinger. John was my daughter-in-law Katie's, dad. He was Noni's beloved husband. He was an adored "Popi" to all the grandchildren. He was a mentor to my son Eric. He was a friend to more people than I can count. And though I didn't know it at the time, he was, and continues to be an example of strength and courage in my life.
John fought an incredible battle with pancreatic cancer. He lost that fight two years ago, but he continues to live on in the lives of many people. John was diagnosed with cancer several years before he died. He way outlived the doctor's predictions. But the way he lived during those years set examples that continue to live on today.
He was a quiet man yet wise. When he did speak, you knew it would be worth listening to. He spent more than one occasion having a "kitchen table" talk with Eric for which I am truly grateful.
As I fight this battle called cancer, I have thought about John many times. I never once heard him utter a complaint about being sick or tired, though I know he had many.
No matter how bad he felt, he went to work every day. He never missed ball games or family picnics with his family because he was too sick. He took every opportunity, even up to the end, to make each person he spoke to feel important and respected and loved. Nothing mattered more to John than his family and friends. He refused to let anyone cry or say anything negative about his battle. He wanted his time with them to be spent positively. He had no time for tears. Cancer did not control his life!
Today, John was honored in the community with a dedication of a street named after him. For some, when they drive by that street, they will be reminded of John. For many more, including myself, his memory lives on in my heart, as I remember him for his example of strength and courage.
Many of us go through our life not even realizing that we are leaving some kind of an impression on those around us. I pray that as I fight this fight, that I can leave a positive example for others to remember. Thank you John, for being one of those examples or me!