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 Tomei

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Eric Tomei

Eric Tomei is a physical therapist residing in the metro Detroit area. He has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Health Sciences and a masters degree in physical therapy from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. I Miss My Dad…is his first book with the hopes of uniting everyone who has lost a Dad or loved one to share their stories. His mission is to let people know that they are not alone in dealing with the loss of a loved one and you will always have a friend to talk to. He has a passion for charity work as 15% of each book sold will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. His goal is to raise $1 million for this charity through donations and the sale of I Miss My Dad… Eric appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart with hosts Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, to discuss Father’s Day Without a Father. To listen to this show, go to the following link:

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