My grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997. It was inoperable and treatment of any kind was only going to make his last time here a living hell. It was terminal. Faced with a death sentence, my grandfather stayed strong and refused to give up his dignity. He was given a few months to live, but managed to hang on for 2 years. Those, however were the hardest 2 years of all of our lives. We knew the end was coming at anytime and so we grew closer as a family and spent more time with him. Its unfortunate that it often takes something like this to bring people closer together, but that is exactly what it did. We tried to make his remaining days here as comfortable as possible. The worst part was watching him fade away over the course of those 2 years. At the end, he weighed less than 100 lbs. He was a mere skeleton, a ghost of who he was. He hated hospitals and so, when the time came, we hired a nurse and cared for him at home. The precious 2 years were hard, but it was those last 9 or so days that really hit us hard. To watch someone who I remembered as a child being a big strong can do anything kind of man lay there helpless and almost unresponsive from pain medicine was heart breaking. The end was a blessing. On July 4th, 1999, my grandfather went home. And so I run and ride in memory of him, a man who remains with me each day.