Posted on August 16, 2010:
At 4:00 p.m. on Sunday I received a phone call that I had been dreading since learning of Dom’s cancer diagnosis almost exactly one year ago. Our good friend, Husband to Val and Father to Sierra and Nico – Dominic D’Eramo passed away in Pittsburgh after a valiant battle with cancer.
Dom who I feel like many of you have gotten to know since last November when this blog began and followed the journey over the past 12 months will be missed by everyone he had ever crossed paths with in life.
The simple fact of the matter is, that the world is a worse place right now than it was when the sun rose over Western Pennsylvania on Sunday morning.
39 years old, father of two, loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. Perhaps the kindest, most genuine, loyal and loving man I have ever known. Gone to cancer with so much life ahead of him.
The past few weeks have continued to show me just how precious this gift of life is. As I was speaking to our good friend Jason, who called me with the news from Pittsburgh – one of Dom’s oldest and dearest friends - we did our best to comfort each other telling ourselves that there are no “what ifs”.
There was not an expert that was not consulted, a Doctor that was not visited, a treatment that was not administered, a procedure not undergone or a possible cure that was not vetted and exhausted. Dom and his support group worked tirelessly to investigate every chance for survival no matter how remote. There were highs, there were lows, there were times of great optimism and now complete and utter defeat.
I remarked many times over the last few months just how proud I was of Dom and the way that he took the fight to his cancer. How no matter how difficult things had gotten, he never gave in. He never ceded a single inch to the disease and he continued to live every day for his family.
At the finish of the race in Pittsburgh I asked Dom for the only favor I ever wanted and that was for him to meet my daughter Landry, so that I would always be able to tell her the story of the time she met her Uncle Dom. What a tremendous person he was, how he could always be counted on and no matter what, he would do anything for those in his life that he loved.
Now I realize that while that would have been wonderful, it is completely unnecessary. Dom will be in all of our hearts for all-time. Landry will indeed get to know her Uncle Dom – as that is now up to Dawn and I to share his stories and his legacy.
I am going to miss my friend. He truly was an inspiration to anyone who was interested in getting the most out of life.
I can’t begin to count the many lessons that he taught me this last year about family, friendship, bravery, courage and honor. I only hope that I can continue to honor him and make him proud as I continue to “borrow from his playbook” on how to live life to the absolute fullest. How I can strive every day to be a better husband, a better son, a better brother and a better friend.
A lot of us are hurting right now – I for one am feeling very lost and confused.
There is a part of me that wants to lay down and stay down for as long as it takes for this hurt to go away.
There is another part of me however, a much larger part, that knows just how disappointed in me Dom would be if I gave in to that feeling.
Once again, Dom, you continue to show me the way. I promise to never forget you and all of the lessons you taught me over this last year. Please check in on me from time to time to make sure I keep on pushing.
If I am going to continue to chase goals in your honor – your memory deserves my very best. I promise to always try, no matter how high the odds are stacked against me.
I have a few more medals to win for you.