By Eric Tomei —
Did anyone catch the Barbara Walters interview with Patrick Swayze last Thursday? It was emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting, and hopeful all rolled into one.
For those of you who don’t know, Swayze was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which means he statistically should have been dead about 3-6 months ago. He has, remarkably, not only survived but thrived for a little over a year with this deadly disease. The show outlined how he is working 10-12 hour days on his new television series for A&E called, “The Beast.” Unbelievable. In a situation where no would have blamed him for packing up the tent and calling it a great life, he continues to focus on living. I don’t doubt he will have many more months of life ahead of him.
Throughout the interview, and many heart-tugging questions from Barbara Walters, Swayze stayed relatively composed. Two of the times Swayze got choked up was when he was talking about his dad.
The show flashed back to a 1988 interview with Walters (at which point Swayze was at the height of his popularity from “Dirty Dancing”), and he was asked about how proud his dad would have been. He could barely get through the answer as it was obvious that his dad meant the world to him and it was crucial for his dad to know that he had achieved success.
Flash forward to 2008 and Walters asked Swayze if he talked to his dad now, knowing the odds that he faces. His response was a simple, “Every day.”
Swayze is an inspiration to me, and I was reminded by his interview to 1) live fully, 2) be genuine and generous with loved ones, and 3) take nothing, including your health, for granted.
Eric TomeiTags: grief, hope