Every so often I get these guilt feelings for spending money on trips and other things, because I feel I should be socking it away for retirement. Plan ahead, they say, and I’m not always very good at it. I want to live now, before arthritis comes back, or something worse says hello. It’s a big reason why we’re driving, once again, to California and Vegas soon, and why I’ve gotten carried away a couple of times at Classic Collectibles Auctions.
It’s also why we’re spending big bucks, and we don’t have many, to see the Habs in Vancouver next Saturday. “Do it while we can, within reason” is the motto.
But because of these guilt feelings, I sometimes need inspiration from others to remind me that it”s not a bad thing to think this way.
I’ve never really known Ray Ryan. He’s a couple of years younger than me, but I would see him playing goal in peewee or bantam, usually before our game began. He was a good goalie too, and at one point was offered a tryout with the Niagara Falls Flyers. His Orillia Junior B team went to to the All-Ontario where they met a Peterborough team in the semi-finals with future NHLers Jimmy Jones and Habs’ Bob Gainey in the lineup, and although Orillia would lose in the 7th game against this powerful team, it’s a magnificent accomplishment to say the least.
From all accounts, Ray is an excellent fellow, a really good guy. Like I say, I only remember him from years ago, this chubby kid stopping pucks in winter and hitting baseballs in summer, but I know he has always been an Orillian, a hard worker, and a mover and shaker in the community. Just a fine upstanding citizen.
Now Ray’s just been told he has pancreatic cancer and has three months to live.
And if you’re thinking you can’t afford that cruise or trip to the West Coast because you’re saving for old age, this is what Ray told the Orillia Packet and Times. “People should do what they want – not put it off. We almost didn’t go (to Panama last November), we almost decided to wait until April. I’m so glad we didn’t.”
There was one other thing Ray told the Packet. “I’ve played a lot of sports in my life and I’ve always loved that I had a chance to win. I decided not to take chemo or any other treatment because there’s no chance to win. The best you could hope for is losing in overtime… That’s not for me.”
I want to say good luck to you, Ray. I’ve seen people beat cancer before, and you can too.