A RICH LIFE

 The latest test results are not good.  The cancer has spread.  We are out of bullets.  There are no more curative treatments available to me.  I am on chemotherapy until I am transferred to hospice care.  I have been told I have three to six months left. For my part, I feel some sense of relief as the last couple of years have been very difficult and, although I have always had hope, as new tumor after tumor was discovered, the handwriting has been on the wall that I have been losing the battle for some time.

I feel so very, very fortunate.  Let me emphasis that mine is not a life cut short but one fully and richly lived.  Not only do I have a great and supportive family and many friends but also I have been blessed with so many rich experiences.  Nearly 46 years ago, I married the girl who lived just 100 yards away from my home in Wapato. Besides making a life and raising a family together, we have taken time to smell the roses.  We have shared more adventurous moments than anyone is entitled.

Judy and I have walked the Great Wall of China and scuba dived remote islands off of Malaysia Borneo.  We have cruised the Nile River and visited the ancient sites of Troy, Ephesus, and the great Pyramids of Giza.  On a journey following Lawrence of Arabias sand prints, we visited Wadi Rum, celebrated the end of Ramadan in Acaba, and watched the villagers celebrate the first rain in years in the lost city of Petra, Jordan.

The beauty of the Taj Mahal of India has stunned us.  We have stood in awe at the ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.  We have enjoyed the cooling mist of Victoria Falls, Batswana.  We have taken buses  trains, and planes all over Europe and sailed the Strait of Bosphorus between Europe and Asia.  We have strolled the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic and climbed more than 1,100 steps to see Draculas Castle in Romania.  We have walked the top walls of the Castle Dubrovnik, Croatia and seen war scared Sarajevo and Belgrade.

We took the tube under the English Channel, had floats in the Dead Sea, drinks on the edge of the Black Sea, toasted Nessie at Lock Ness, and played with dolphins in the Red Sea.  We have canoed the Amazon and Laos Rivers and paddled among animals drinking in a stream in the Kalahari Desert. We have seen volcanoes from Iceland to Costa Rica to Indonesia and glaciers from Greenland to Alaska to New Zealand.  We have photo safaried Africa.

We have scuba dived some of the most pristine dive sites in the world, some of which you would not recognize but you will have heard of Fiji, the Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos Islands, Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, Red Sea, Belize, Honduras, Panama, and the Truk Lagoon.

We have driven the Outback and visited Ayres Rock in Australia. We spent a week in Paris to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  This is to give you a sense of the adventures we have shared.

Judy, volunteering to provide humanitarian care, has traveled internationally more than I.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed being a private pilot for 40 years, and I have flown my own single engine airplane all over the North American continent to destinations like San Diego, California; Clear Water, Florida; Bar Harbor, Maine; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Yellow Knife, North West Territory; and Sitka, Alaska.

I am proud of my professional accomplishments and my service to the State of Washington as President of the Washington State Bar Association and as a Justice on the Washington Supreme Court.  Mine is not a life to mourn.  I think it was well lived.