Cancer is an evil entity that does not discriminate, does not differentiate a good person from a bad, and it certainly does not care that it tears lives apart. Cancer is horrible. It destroys. Cancer stole my Daddy, Mitchell Gunn, away from us on November 19, 2018. He tried to battle. He tried to fight.
I have survivor’s guilt. I had struggled with the fact that my life has to go on when his life was cut short. I struggle with the fact that I have half my life ahead of me. I get the chance to watch my children grow up, graduate, start families. I have yet to watch an entire UK basketball game because I feel guilty that he can’t. By this time in the season, Dad and I have usually attended at least one game, analyzed the team, and discussed the up and coming SEC schedule. If we weren’t watching the game together, we were live texting each other. But then I remember…..
I have had a lifetime packed into my 40 years with him. He lived his life to the fullest and made sure that we did, too. He never denied us a need much less a want. I’m thankful God chose him to be my Daddy and my children’s Poppy.
There is a passage that that has sat behind my father’s desk for years that voices what cancer cannot do. It speaks of the things like it cannot cripple love, shatter hope, or even reduce eternal life. Daddy turned to that passage from time to time to remember those things that cancer couldn’t do. Using that passage as a guide, I decided to write a poem in his honor and read it at his funeral.
Cancer Did Not
Cancer did not take away his spirit.
It was there until the end.
Cancer tried to make him fade away.
But his God was there to defend.
Cancer did not shatter his hope
Or cripple him in fear.
Cancer tried so hard to scare him,
But to his faith, he did adhere.
Cancer did not corrode his love.
Nothing could ever take that away.
Cancer thought it could crush him,
But his love was bigger than his days.
Cancer did not silence his courage,
Or quell his fight.
Cancer thought it brought the darkness,
But Daddy was all that is light.
Cancer did not take away our memories,
Or strip us of our love.
Cancer thought it won that night,
But Daddy is celebrating with God above.
Cancer did not take away the 40 years of my life I spent with him. Cancer did not take away his legacy. Cancer did not take away the thousands of people he touched in his 62 years. Cancer did not take away how much he was loved. Cancer did not erase his life.