I recently had the opportunity to visit the Terry Fox Memorial in Vancouver, BC. Below is a transcript from the memorial, in Terry Fox’s memory.
A tribute to one of Canada’s greatest individuals.
Transcript of memorial
On a fundamental level, Terry’s life makes us ask, “What if?” Suppose he’d thought about running across Canada but simply changed his mind and decided not to do it? Terry was a shy boy from a sleepy Vancouver suburb; that might well have happened. And there’s no way of knowing whether his cancer would have recurred in that case – the Marathon of Hope may well have caused his relapse. So his life might have continued. He’d likely have found a good job, gotten married and had a family. His life would have had the dignity and importance that all of our lives share.
If he’d changed his mind and never run, he might have wondered “What if?” for the rest of his life – but then that’s what many of us do. The world would have continued spinning. Today’s weather would be just the same. Everything would be the same, and yet nothing would be the same. You and I wouldn’t be the same. The way we view life and death and courage and strength wouldn’t be the same.
If Terry had the same cancer in 2011 the he did in 1980, his chances of living would have been four times greater. But it was his life and decisions and actions that created that very possibility.
Sometimes we all feel like we’re just one more person here on earth. Why does anything matter? Why do any of us bother going on? But the fact is that we do go on, and all of us matter, and just maybe, if we follow Terry’s example of choosing the more difficult choices, our lives take on meaning greater than we might ever have dared hope.
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