The following was written last week by my twenty year old nephew Adam Goldstein. His father, my brother-in-law Dan is fighting a horrendous battle right now. I am heartbroken for my sister and her family. Please enjoy this beautiful tribute to a man I’ve known for more than half my life… Lesley Rousso
By Adam Goldstein
My dad is the greatest man I have ever met. He has always been someone I can rely on, trust unconditionally, and make me laugh when I need a cheering up. Being an only child with no brothers and sisters, I was always very lonely while I was growing up. I always wanted a sibling, however was not fortunate enough to get one. I have had to learn to be an independent individual, relying only on myself and the help from my parents. This has shaped my life and my personality more than any experience I can remember even causing issues such as depression and social anxiety at a young age. However, while I was always blessed throughout my life with a great group of friends, my dad has always topped the list. My dad has supported me unconditionally along the way, simultaneously being my best friend, the brother I’ve never had but always wanted, and the best father any person could ask for.
For those of you reading who don’t know, my father and I share the same birthday. He has always told me I was the best birthday gift my mother gave him. We have spent every birthday together for the last 20 years since I was born. However, our most recent birthday in January was fogged down by bad news my family received a week prior. My father of only 52 years old was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (a rare, terminal lung disease with no known cure). My dad is currently going through chemotherapy treatments, on heavy daily medications and has lost 25 lbs in the past month and a half. It is heartbreaking to see the man I have followed and looked up to my entire life go through this awful hardship and uncertainty.
Watching my dad go through what he is going through has paralyzed me. I watch him struggle every day, physically and mentally. I wake up every morning hardly able to keep it together and lacking the motivation to even get myself out of bed. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy. I know I need to stand up, dust myself off, and live my life but the fear of losing the person closest to me has had a worse effect than I’ve let show on the outside.
Their isn’t any real reason for me to be writing this now as opposed to 4 months ago when he was diagnosed. I guess what I really mean to say with this post is to cherish the people you love and the happy moments you have in life. Unfortunately, life is extremely short and can be ripped out from underneath you when you least expect it. While that may sound unbelievably cliché, I didn’t fully grasp that meaning until I started living it. I needed something concrete to come back and read and remember how I am feeling in this exact moment when I am having a bad day. My dad has taught me that we all shape our own destinies with our own actions. This humanizing experience has made me want to do anything and everything I can to better myself and the world around me. Don’t waste time. Do the things that you enjoy and make you happy, Don’t sweat the small stuff. Cherish your real friends and family. These short, “Hallmark”-esque quotes may sound cheesy, but they could not be more true. It’s about time i turn over a new leaf and make myself better, stronger, and happier.
We are going to get through all of this shit, pops, and come out the other end of the tunnel as stronger men. Whatever happens, I’m here for you as you have been for me, I love yo unconditionally and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without you. Here’s to spending another birthday together next January. I love you more than you know, popsy.
Editor’s Note: Due to the deep and intensely personal nature of this piece we have decided to publish it in its raw, unedited form. We thank Mr. Goldstein for his bravery in sharing with the world his father’s courageous struggle.