The Struggle Has Ended

Greg Hewlett passed away on January 17th after nearly eight years of battling colon cancer. While we grieve his loss, we are comforted to know that he is with his Lord.

If you would like to leave your thoughts on Greg, please see this thread.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Greg's honor, please see this thread.

Friday, February 20, 2004

My birthday

I turned 36 yesterday. When we talk about someone having a "good" birthday, we usually mean something like a day of fun or a particularly good day at work, or a day with a fun event with one's family. Yesterday was indeed a "good birthday", but not in the usual sense of the term.

I spent most of the day by myself at MD Anderson meeting with doctors, nurses, and genetic research interviewers. Then I made the 250-mile drive up I-45 back to Dallas alone. This is the same dull drive I have made countless times, especially during my college years. The visual highlights of this stretch of Texas highway are limited to a few scenic oak groves, some billboards for Bubba's Bar-B-Q of Ennis ("serious barbeque"), Huntsville State Penitentiary, and a ridiculously huge (even by Texas standards) white statue of Sam Houston overlooking the roadway. Incidentally, in my mind, this jolly monstrosity does little justice to that great man because the statue looks too much like the giant Pillsbury Dough Boy from Ghostbusters.

In any case, I had a delightful day. I had some CDs and a book-on-tape but found myself opting instead to sit in silence. Among other things, I contemplated 36. I kept recalling a small private thought I had in the early days after diagnosis last summer. During those dark days, when looking at data showing a median life expectancy of something like seven months, I wondered if I would see 36. And here I was, driving down this same ol' road on that very day. 36 had indeed come. The tumors were gone. The doctors were more optimistic than usual, and overall, I didn't feel too sick. (although the Sonic burger was still stubbornly resisting digestion -- Sonic is still the height of cuisine on I-45).

To be sure, the dough-boy statue was still ridiculous and the penitentiary still loomed. But the Bubba's signs were a bit more humorous. It also seemed like there were more oak groves. And they were more beautiful than I had noticed before. The air seemed fresher, as well. So if anyone asks... yes, I did have a good birthday.



Carl said...

The same God that brought you through this trial to this day will richly reward your courage and faith you have in Him. Happy Birthday and happy celebration of who you are for all of us who share in your life.

Brian M said...

Happy birthday, Greg! May God bless you and give you many more cancer-free years to enjoy his creation -- and serious barbecue! :)

David Pagan said...

Happy birthday! Someone at work reminded me that at 36 we are now in our late 30's.

Henry Chu said...

Happy Birthday Greg,
Yeh! 36, what a good year for you and wish you many many more returns. Today when I go home, I will sing a song to myself to celebrate your birthday, and it will be "Oh Victory in Jesus."
Greg, you are victorious in Jesus.

curtis frodge said...

happy birthday dude slightly b-later but hey :)
better late than never. love ya