Thursday, July 31, 2008

Greg Sanetz....

This is a true story....

I have a step-father

When he came into my life I was a rebellious teen.

Like so many step-fathers and step-sons,

he and I never saw eye-to-eye

There were many times I think we would have liked to beat each other up

rather than listen to the others point of view on life.

I saw him as an uneducated oaf

that had nothing to offer me or my mom

and he saw me as a young man without direction.

But he did his best to tell me what he thought a man should be.

I never listened.

I wanted to be a rich man when I grew up.

He was a simple mechanic

with nothing to his name

but a pickup truck and some tools.

That was many years ago.

He had a heart attack about three months ago,

not a very big one,

but enough to put a scare into everyone who knew him.

He smiled and said he was fine

He had an stomach-ulcer that kept bleeding

and this lead to another heart attack.

When he went into the hospital

they ran all the tests they could on him

and he said with a smile

"I am fine."

They found stomach cancer

and it had spread into some lymph nodes and the fatty tissue around his stomach.

They ,to use his words,

"Gutted him like a fish."

The pain after the operation was tremendous,

but as soon as he could speak he said.

"I am fine."

As a result of his illness

he lost his job.

He just could not work in the Florida heat anymore.

He said it was "fine."

He is now receiving Chemo-therapy and radiation treatments.

You can tell he is in pain and does not feel well.

But if you ask him how he is he always says,

"I am fine."

He moved in with us,

He and Mom are divorced now.

"Because it was just easier to get to treatments." he said.

( Really not wanting to be alone

or wanting to admit he could not afford to live elsewhere.)

and we said, "We could make him eat."

( Really not wanting him to be alone and silently

knowing he could not afford to live elsewhere.)

He came and brought his

Pickup truck with his tool box in the back.

The two things he owned.

Two weeks ago,

while he was on the phone to his doctor

About his insurance being cancelled

(caused by a clerical error)

and trying to arrange to continue receiving his

radiation and chemo-therapy,

while he got things straight with the

insurance company,

my girlfriend came in the house and asked my step-father

"Where is your truck?"

"It should be out there in the driveway. "he said.

It was not.

Someone had come in the night and taken his pickup truck, with all his tools in back.

Someone had ridden off with the only two things this man owned outright.

He had a check book in his brief case that

was in the cab of the truck.

He only had a few hundred dollars in his checking account,

but whoever took the truck

managed to cash enough checks to overdraw the account.

He is now penniless.

But with a smile he will tell you

"It will be fine."

This morning he and I sat on the patio,

Me drinking my morning's coffee

and planning my day out,

he just watching the sun rise.

I could sense he was feeling "off".

When I asked him how he was,

He responded with a simple smile and a

"I am fine"

He was fibbing but that is okay.

Then pensively

he started to tell me about


How to tell a good one from a bad one.

Who makes the best,

who makes the worst,

who makes them too expensive,

who makes them cheap,

who gives the best service,

who gives the worst,

who makes the best tool box,

who made the tool box he lost when his truck was stolen

and why he picked that one.

He told me about all the tools he had,

and why he had those specifically.

What jobs they were bought for

and why.

With lots of "best tool for the job"

and " right tool for the right job " thrown in here and there.

A couple hours went by in this fashion.

And that is when it hit me.

That all this man had to his name

was a series of stories,

of life experiences,

of knowledge passed down from his father to him,

and he was leaving it to me !

It was his Legacy,

the most precious thing he had

and he wanted me to have it

when he was gone.

I hope we have many more mornings

like the one

he and I

shared today.

I can't help but wonder

how much more of this type of wealth he would have left me

if I had taken the time

to listen

when I was a young man who needed direction.

I am richer today because of the things he has told me.

How much richer would I be

if I had listened all along?

If he does leave this earth soon

I will miss him

more than I would have ever imagined.

And I will remember,

and be thankful for



please pass this on, I think he would like to leave his legacy to everyone if he could.

Gregory Sanetz passed away quietly after a long battle with Stomach Cancer
He will be forever remembered by his friends and family.
There has not been many days since he left on his long journey that I have not thought of him.
There have been many times that I wished he were here to guide me through a problem or just to tell a funny story.
Rest well my friend, and know you were loved.


Anonymous said...

This is very nice. Thankyou for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome.