Learning of a terminal diagnosis causes us to pause and focus on things that really matter in life. If you're a parent, you realize all the "firsts" you will miss in the life of your child - dates, school dances, graduations and weddings.
For one Missouri father, this is a reality. Charlie Kwentus was diagnosed with Oligodendroglioma, a brain tumor, and after years of surgeries and tests, he has recently stopped all treatments.
Choosing to stop treatments and live life making memories, the family, with daughters Maren and Zoe and wife Courtney, took a three-week family trip. Then the girls started to realize the important life events their dad would miss with them.
A non-profit organization, Annie's Hope, stepped in to help. Maren and Zoe were given the star treatment at a local salon, picked out fancy dresses, rode in a limousine and took special pictures with their dad who was also dressed up in a tuxedo.
They then went to private dinner where they got to have their special father-daughter dances. "I won't be able to walk them down the aisle but I will get this," Charlie said. "It's overwhelming. It's like pinch me, I'm in a dream."
This is a special night they will each cherish in their hearts and memories.
It's important for us to make sure we focus on what matters most in life: our family. Don't let work, finances or frivolous time-wasters get in the way of the people we love the most. The time to tell someone you love them is now. You never know when it may be the last time you see someone.
It's hard to know what to do when someone you know is dying. Read this article for some insights on how to help and what to say.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen