Preston was the bravest person I have known. He and I had spent a lot of time together last year driving to Houston for his chemotherapy. During the ordeal he always had a positive attitude and was careful to think about the welfare of his friend and family. In the spring he wanted to get the treatments over with, kick the cancer, and get back to work at a FEMA operation. As soon as he got word that the cancer was gone he was on an airplane to Iowa to help in the flood recovery.
Before the cancer developed we had made plans to ride to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in the summer of 2010. I had just retired and he could take a short break from work.
Preston came home from Iowa for a checkup at the end of June, 2010. Unfortunately the cancer had gone to his spine where it was not detected. He entered the hospital and stayed until he died in mid-August.
Two days before he died the Doctors asked what he wanted to do; he was in bad shape due to the cancer entering his brain. He couldn't see very well and he couldn't talk, but he could write. He wrote a note and handed it to me. It was hard to understand at first, but I read it and gave him a "thumbs up". He then turned to the doctor with the slash across the throat sign. He was through fighting but was assured I would carry out his wishes.
PARTY PRUDHOE BAY SUMMER.
He had told us when he first entered the hospital that he wanted an Epic Party thrown in his honor and for his ashes to be taken to Prudhoe Bay this summer. I have left it to his friends in the Fort Worth area to throw the party.
CAN UD (Can you do it?)
I assured him that I would.
folgers Big Lebowski Style
In the movie The Big Lebowski, John Goodwin spread the ashes of his friend from a Folgers coffee can into the Pacific Ocean. Some compromises must be made. Federal law prohibits spreading ashes in the ocean, but I'll figure something out.
|John Goodman and Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski|
|Preston was Center-Stage at his memorial service.|