By Timothy Egan | The New York Times
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)
Steve Jobs had outlasted an initial death sentence — three to six months to live, the doctors had said — when he told Stanford graduates that the threat of an early demise was perhaps the most liberating thing that ever happened to him.
I was thinking of Jobs, who died seven years after a diagnosis of deadly pancreatic cancer, while watching the public tutorial of Senator John McCain going through what may be his final days.
McCain is not just plotting the details of his own funeral, but living it. He’s lucky. Most of us don’t get the chance to tell friends and family members how much we love them, to put things in order — and in return, to hear from those people about what a difference a life made to them.
“Then I’d like to go back to our valley and see the creek run after the rain and hear the cottonwoods whisper in the wind,” said McCain in an excerpt he read from his forthcoming book, “The Restless Wave.” You could hear Hemingway, the senator’s favorite author, in those words.
McCain says he may not live long enough to see the book’s release date, May 22. He has glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, though a recent visitor said he was full of fight and vigor.
My mother died of the same thing.