Every day with those you love is a gift

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

In the summer of 1999 my daddy was diagnosed with cancer.  Until  you've heard those words you can't really know what you feel.  My daddy was lucky that it was the slowest growing cancer there is and NOT lucky that after his surgery they couldn't say "you are cancer free" because they removed all they could and still found cancer cells in the margin.  Fortunately through medical science, research and good doctors I still have my daddy 20 years later.

There was a lesson, a life lesson, for me in that I have treasured every single day I get to have my daddy still here with our family as a gift.  

When my daddy got his diagnosis it was still summer and my parents had planned a vacation. It was a BIG vacation.  They were driving across the country to visit my aunt and uncle in Montana and my mom didn't want to go. However my daddy thought at the time that it just might be his last chance to see as much of the country as he was about to see decided to go. And while parts of it were the vacation from hell ... their car died, they left a a hotel in the middle of the night because they didn't feel safe there... they also go to see so much of the country. IT was the National park tour of the country when they saw old faithful, the redwood forest and the grand canyon among others.

And on the morning of 11/11/99 I took my daughter to school and drove to the hospital.  My daddy went into surgery and we waited... and we waited... and waited. And while the news wasn't the one the hoped for, my daddy has spent the last 20 years on a medication that has allowed him to survive.  He got to see Abigail grow up, get married, he got to walk me down the isle again when I married my Donald, he's had 20 more years with my mom, he got to build a new house 9 years ago, he got to see his granddaughter graduate from high school and college and get married and two years ago he became a great granddaddy.  GIFT. GIFT. GIFT. GIFT.  Everything that my daddy gets to experience is another gift.  So my veteran daddy got the gift of longer life on Veteran's Day 1999 and now we always really celebrate.

But it also changed my life and my attitude about EVERYTHING.  And while I certainly am not grateful that my daddy has cancer. I am ever so grateful for the life lesson to live every moment as if it could be your last.  I take those vacations, I spend time with family, I have my priorities in order... GOD, family, friends then work.  


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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy - please thank your father for his service to our country on behalf of members of the ActiveRain community.  Like location location location is often repeated in real estate repeating GIFT in this post underscores your message of gratitude. 

Nov 11, 2019 04:46 PM #1
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Tammy Lankford, What a lucky Daddy to have you as his daughter. Love how you shared the story of cancer as a gift. Wishing you and your family many many more years of health and happiness!

Nov 11, 2019 05:21 PM #2
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tammy, you left me with tears, and so glad your Dad got the gift of life, and much more life!    Your whole family benefits, and a huge reason to celebrate today.   

Nov 11, 2019 05:37 PM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Tammy Lankford, 

What a special gift your daddy gave the whole family. Please thank him for his service to our country and thank him for the life lessons he gave your whole family..look at your priorities..they are in order!

Nov 11, 2019 06:04 PM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Tammy Lankford, - what a heartwarming gift you have in your Daddy.  The big C is sure scary and I am glad for your family that you have already had 20 more years.

Nov 12, 2019 05:49 AM #5
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I had tears in my eyes reading your story, and I am so delighted that you shared this with us, and how your attitude changed. So happy for you and your family.  Thank you for sharing this. A

Nov 12, 2019 06:02 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am glad that your daddy has been able to live a long life even with having to learn to live with cancer.  My Mom also lives with cancer and she sets such an amazing example for my brothers and me to learn from.

Nov 12, 2019 06:09 AM #7
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

What a touching post, Tammy. I know that feeling you experienced when you heard your father had cancer... I went through that in 1995 with my mother. Unfortunately we were gifted with only 3 more years with her and I still wish I'd had many more days. Each day is indeed a gift and I'm so glad you appreciate the gift of your father's day.

Nov 12, 2019 06:59 AM #8
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Tammy What a heartfelt post. It sure makes us even more grateful for each day. 

Nov 12, 2019 07:05 AM #9
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nobody tells a heartwarming story better than you Tammy. You are a great daughter and it seems to me your daddy taught you all so much about the gift of giving and never giving up. Life is the gift we are given and it's worth it to fight until the end to keep our life because there would be a lot to miss if we were quitters. Your daddy and you are simply amazing and your grandson is a bundle of love that keeps on giving. You have a lot to be thankful for and you taught us we do too. 

Nov 12, 2019 10:39 AM #10
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Michael Jacobs I will do that.

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland I was so very blessed in the parents department.

Joan Cox definitely changed veterans day for us

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR and it usually takes a little longer to figure out those priorities.  I also think my daughter was really blessed because it's something I reinforced with her throughout her childhood and she's right there with me.

Grant Schneider me too, me too.

Nov 12, 2019 01:18 PM #11
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Ron and Alexandra Seigel it has certainly changed my life.  I tend to forgive more easily, I also tend to walk away easier too.  There is just not enough time for dispute and petty in my life. the gift was not sweating the small stuff.

Brian England one of my former agents had bone cancer for more than 10 years.  She had moved to Florida, but I kept in touch and visited. I really was unaware before my daddy that living "with" cancer was a thing. But it certainly is for so many people I've come to learn.  

Nina Hollander I mean if I had my way I'd just pass quietly one night in my sleep without ever being sick, but I can say for sure that knowing you have cancer or someone you love has it ... it changes your life and you learn not to waste time.

Sharon Lee thanks, hope you are some place warm.  Last post I read you were in snow.  I'll head over and check.

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP well my eyes watered up when I read your comment.  Very recently I lost an agent in my office to cancer after a battle of about a year and half.  And while it was a tough battle, she fought the good fight right until the end.

Nov 12, 2019 01:33 PM #12
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Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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