Final Blog from The Weary Warrior

Monty peacefully passed away around 5:45 yesterday evening.

Friends, family, and anyone else whose life was touched by Monty: Please feel free to use this page as a place to remember and celebrate Monty by sharing personal stories, photos, videos.

Monty with his girls 2

Dear Monty,

I know you so admired the woman whose picture you featured in a blog post a couple of years ago. I can’t put my fingers on that picture just now but as I remember it she has her javelin tucked in alongside her oxygen tank. If that wasn’t exactly right it is pretty close.

YOU have embodied that warrior spirit for a long time now. Our last picture, really captures it. Bundled up on a bike ride, lugging your own oxygen tank around. Talk about a warrior attitude!

But this was only the most recent example. The list is long. Fighting non Hodgkin’s lymphoma with a toughness and stoicism few could muster. Going through radiation and chemo, yet travelling for Thanksgiving in the midst of the worst of it. In the bad years you would hang on with a stiff upper lift and your warrior attitude.  And in the good years? Let’s hike the Rogue for 5 days? Not good enough? How about run a marathon? Go to the gym.  Bungee jump. Rose Bowl. Masters track. Wind sprints on the beach. It is exhausting even thinking about it. You’re like Clark Kent/Superman.

And your illness, terrible as it has been, turned a thoughtful, caring person into a world class person. You exude empathy. You had all your own pain to deal with. But you seem to feel everyone else’s pain and suffering too. And you acted on that empathy. Who sends their brother in law’s parents a get well card with a beautiful hand written note? C’mon man, you’re making the rest of us look bad!

In addition to empathy the other word I think that describes you is grateful. No matter how tough times were you were grateful. Grateful for Julie’s care and patience. Grateful for your doctors. Grateful for your sister’s stem cells. Grateful for your daughters and their husbands. Grateful. Grateful. Grateful. No matter what.  What a lesson for me and I am sure a few others as well.

This empathy and thoughtfulness were also exemplified in your writing. Your poetry is so powerful. I’ve never cried before reading a poem. But I’ve never been able to NOT cry reading Starbucks Santa. (Paradoxically, I do need to point out, that deep and thoughtful though you are, that no fart joke has ever been too immature.)

You’ve gotten a lot of things right in this life. But you especially got the big things right. Son. Father. Husband. Grandfather. Uncle. Even brother in law (though more like a brother). Your great work is on display in many quarters, your legacy complete.

Thank you for being such a great example. You make me want to be a better man.

Love,
Steve

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Artist, Richard C. Ward ,  “Sleeping Warrior”