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A Warrior Fights the Battle of His Life

He’d dodged bullets, eluded enemy capture, survived torture, but none of that compared to the battle he faced today.  He’d stared down death, rescued friends wounded in the course of battle, and even been wounded three times himself.  Even so, he never hesitated, never flinched, as he dove back into battle.

As he’d gotten older, he continued to fight battles–moving from the physical battlefield to a battle of wits with others more skilled.  Eventually he moved into politics, the battles becoming more public, with more fervor, with more at stake.  Even so, he never felt fear, never was concerned that he might lose.  The possibility he might lose had simply never entered his mind.

Today was different.

He’d just gotten the diagnosis:  pancreatic cancer, and 3-6 months to live.  For the first time since he could remember, he felt real fear.  The years of surviving multiple battles on the battlefield, the decades spent fighting in the political arena, thousands of people’s lives affected by the decisions he made–all of it seemed so distant.  He’d spent his whole life fighting battles, but how does one win a fight against the cells in one’s own body?

He didn’t want to give up–that wasn’t in his nature.  However, for the first time, he felt like he was not in control of his life.  Instead of being in control, he needed to rely on doctors who knew more than him.  There was nothing he could learn in time to help himself–and from what the doctors said, there wasn’t much they could do to help him either.  The cancer had been caught too late.

He had often fought alone, but had never felt so lonely.

His wife was there, holding his hand.  She’d stood behind him through the years…waiting for him to return from war, standing behind him as he took the microphone through countless political battles.  He knew that she would be lonely when he’d gone, but, for the moment, his mind, so trained to fight battles, was racing around this one problem…how to fight an enemy he couldn’t see, touch, or otherwise sense.

Even knowing that the attempt was useless, his mind kept attacking the problem, trying to find an opening.  He found none.

Time went by, and he grew to accept his fate.  He decided to take what time he had left and enjoy life–the only way to defeat his impending death was to not let it kill his spirit before his body.

He and his wife sat down, and made a list of all they wanted to do.  They started at the top, and worked their way down, making it to number thirty-three before the end.

And he died free.

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