June 1, 2002 was just like any other day in the Morin household.  I was at the kitchen sink when Brian (5), Kelsey (3) and I heard the garage door go up.  It was only 5:00 PM so we were very excited that Daddy was home early.  Phil came walking up the cellar stairs and said just 6 words, “I went to the doctor’s today.” 

Our lives were like a whirlwind after that.  Five days later we were told he had a mass in his colon.  A few days later he was being operated on to remove the tumor.  We thought it was only stage 2 or 3 colon cancer.  We told ourselves that our lives would be interrupted for a year or two but then things would be normal again.  Phil would fight the cancer, he’d beat the cancer and we’d realize how lucky we were and once again be a happy, healthy family.

 The day of the operation I was sitting with Phil’s Mom and Dad in the lobby of Milford Whitonsville Hospital.  Phil’s operation was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM.  I was reading the Boston Globe, Mrs. Morin was doing her check book and Mr. Morin was watching the TV.  All of a sudden I looked down at the floor and saw a pair of black shoes.  I looked up and saw Phil’s surgeon.  It was 10:20 AM.  Many, many thoughts passed through my mind in the 5 seconds before he spoke.  I was thinking of every reason he would be done with the surgery in 20 minutes.  Every reason except the one that I knew was true.  It was only 5 words this time and I immediately couldn’t breathe.  Those 5 words, “There’s nothing we can do.”

 We had 11 months after that day.  There were some really good days when Phil felt great.  And then there were some really bad days and nights that will live forever in my heart.  We got to do “one more” of almost everything.  One more birthday for each of us, one more Thanksgiving and one more Christmas. 

We realized, however, that it wasn’t the special events for which we lived.  It was the ordinary, day to day, family happenings that made us the most happy.  Just watching a TV program with the kids, eating supper together or reading bedtime stories were what we loved the most. 

After many complications Phil passed away at home surrounded by his family on Sunday, May 18, 2003.  Phil’s Phriends rode together as a team the following August and this August will be their 5th ride in Phil’s memory.  We are eternally grateful to Phil’s Phriends for their dedication and support. 

Thanks so much for all you do!

Mary, Brian and Kelsey Morin