Tuesday, October 4, 2011


After I completed my freshman year of high school I was asked to move from Beautiful Southern California to Michigan. My Dad had been promoted (again) and this caused me to depart my friends, the girl I loved, and a skateboard sponsor...to move to Michigan. The aforementioned factors flashed through my mind when my Dad called us in the kitchen to make the announcement. Selfishly, I told my Dad to say "no" to the promotion. For the first (and only) time in my life, I saw my Dad cry. I instantly grabbed his hand and said I would pack my bags. My sister stayed at USC and my Mom, Dad and I headed to the Mid-West.

One might assume this a tough transition but on the first day I arrived I met a few kids who appreciated my grace on a skateboard. They were humble, full of compliments and supportive. In short time, I found another girl to love and some of the best people I've ever met. The transition was, in all honesty, simple!

As we settled into our new home, my new friends became part of the family. I sent my sister pictures of the snow and my Dad's mid-western roots gained the respect of his new co-workers. All seemed to be well....until my Mom got the cancer.

My Dad was never home, my Sister was half a country away, I was navigating a new high school in a new land....but I took it in stride. Looking back, I didn't stress out about it in the slightest, maybe because I knew everything would be OK.

This is the apt (but not appropriate) way to describe it: Cancer is a Motherfucker! With my new driver's license, I earned the privilege of driving my Mom to Ann Arbor for Chemotherapy. The drives to the hospital were filled with the diversion of laughter. The drives home were different.

Observing the movie 50/50 was not easy. Things resurface: The smell of hospital rooms, the taste of hospital food, and the discontent of seeing one's heroes fallibility. This film is an extraordinary recounting of time spent with someone going through treatment. The key word being: treatment. We have come a long way! More so, the film revealed the value of true friendship, a parent's plight, and the recognition of one's mortality. It is a heart wrenching reflection of what is genuinely important.

As time goes by, the finish line gets closer. If you have good friends, a family who cares and the right care; the sprint becomes a marathon. Having spent time with someone facing the finish line, I know that time is fleeting and every moment is important:
Tell people you love them
Appreciate your friends
Try not to be annoyed by your family

My Mom turned 72 a few months back. Not everyone is so lucky!

The Great Matt Skiko is fighting the disease that took our friend and CEO Charlie Fina last year:

Help if you can. Tell your friends and family that you love them.

Dear Readers, I tell you with great certainty that these days are desperately precious! Live them with every ounce of love you can muster!

Don't Forget to Remember!