Fight the fight!

When I found out that my Uncle Freddie had pancreatic cancer shortly after my breast cancer diagnosis this summer, I was devastated to say the least to hear the news. Cancer is my least my favorite word and it’s just heard far too often lately.  After many appointments to the doctor, he decided that he didn't want chemo.  We saw him quickly begin to go downhill, visiting my parents’ house on Saturday mornings less often.  We missed those moments, especially during football season.  We’d often get up and go over to see him when he’d stop by and our conversations always revolved around our Tigers and pretty much Clemson everything.  He knew the stats, the players, and the inside scoop. We loved watching a game with him, as his excitement was infectious. 
Good food was another thing he loved and he was an incredible cook.  Right before he was diagnosed, he offered to make us the best twice baked potatoes to freeze and pull out when in need of a quick dinner.  He asked me how many I wanted and I was quick to say, maybe 6-8, and two days later he showed up with 20.  Talk about a sweet man?  We just finished them off recently and just last night Jett asked me if we had some more.  My heart sunk when I told him we didn’t..  And we won’t.  I’ll try to recreate them but it’ll be impossible.  I’m sure I won’t use enough butter, shrimp, mushrooms, or cheese.  They were mouthwatering.  And to think that even on the brink of being ever so sick, he managed to think of others.  That is the heart of a servant.  
So growing up I was the youngest Knight grandchild for over 10 years until the greats came along.  I got a lot of “extra” love and care from the family.  And Uncle Freddie was always the key baby whisperer and could make things all better.  As long as he didn’t wear a ball cap, I loved him to hold me.

Ball caps weren’t my thing back in the day since my daddy used one to tell me no once.  So Freddie learned to learn to leave the cap at the door if he wanted anything to do with me. 

He was rarely late and never missed a function.  The day Jett was born he was the first visitor that morning.  I’ll never forget him walking through the door smiling the biggest smile and holding our newborn baby with such pride.  

He always came to birthday parties, graduations, weddings, showers, baby dedications.  

He never missed a Christmas Eve of coming over to my parents’ house bringing gifts...always an ornament for me to go on the tree and gifts for my niece and Jett.  

He was quick on the move though, didn’t visit for very long, but you knew he loved you and would give you the shirt off his back.  It was rare to see him in something other than the color orange or a Clemson shirt of some type.  His jeans were always perfectly starched and creased, and he wore cowboy boots most every day. 
He was strong in his opinion, said a few choice words at times, and you always knew where he stood.  He quickly told you what was on his mind and didn’t really have a problem if you didn’t agree.
Seeing him last Sunday and hearing him faintly say “I love you”,  and laying his feeble body over Jett when he hugged him, sealed my heart completely.  
He was real.  He was loved. And he’ll be missed.

We will celebrate him tomorrow with lots of our family and friends at the church he grew up in and one that means so much to us.  

And then on Saturday, we’ll venture to an Insider Event sponsored by Bon Secours in Clemson for the second part of being selected as a  Spirit of the Tiger honoree, where I’ll receive my signed football, take tours of all facilities, and be in THE place he loved dearly.  I can’t think of a better place to be in than the hills of dear ol’ Clemson after laying a die hard fan to rest.  He’d say his blood runneth orange and I’ll say that his memory will live forever. 
So chemo #14 was in his honor.  The infusion time was quiet, peaceful, and calm. Just the way it should be after a sad loss.  My parents came.  My nurse was amazing.  And all went fairly smoothly.  My platelet count was good but my bilirubin numbers were a little off.  They’ll do an ultrasound of my liver soon to be on the safe side.  They think it could be due to the antibiotics I’m on with the crazy fingernails.   During this scary news report I couldn’t help but think that an angel was in the room, sitting beside me, along with the presence of Jesus.  That angel being Freddie.  Cheering me on, telling me to fight the fight.  I could almost hear him say not to worry that everything would be ok.  That made today a little different, knowing that he’s watching down over me.  The ride to the center and home was quiet with my daddy, as the sadness hovers over us all.  He lost a brother and a best friend, and we lost our uncle and a good man.  
Thanks for all the prayers for our family.  

“Tears are prayers too.  They travel to God when we cannot speak.” Psalm 56:8


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