Jamie Brown is a true friend. He is mentioned in my book, not by name, but as the guy who lives for today. We’ve spent many hours sitting on a sand bar drinking beer and telling tales. We met 3 years ago when we were both anchored off Gilchrest Park in Punta Gorda. Since then we’ve traveled together often. Regardless of either of our travels, we always meet up out in Pelican Bay whenever we can.
Jamie is a non-conformist. He is the most apolitical person I have ever meet. He cares nothing about politics. Doesn’t watch popular tv or listen to the radio. He purposely avoids the news. He’s never heard of Kim Kardashian or Miley Cyrus, and doesn’t care. You see, Jamie has battled and beaten cancer multiple times. He has a half dozen surgeries to remove brain tumors. Once recovered, he sold the house, hopped on his boat and has never looked back. He is a unique individual. Friendly and outgoing, always with a bright outlook, he makes friends wherever he goes.
He is quick to lend a hand, even if you are a stranger. He has spent the past three years enjoying remission. Every three months his doctors declare him still cancer free, until this last time. He has another tumor, behind his right eye. Headaches alerted him that something might be wrong. Right now he is stuck in Orlando, awaiting a surgery date. They changed his medication so he’s feeling more comfortable and itching to get it over with and return to his boat.
Last night I took my dinghy out to check on Bay Dreamer. I opened her up to air out. Checked the bilge and batteries, and ran the diesel for a bit. All seemed well. I phoned him from his boat to let him know, and he sounded normal, if not a bit perturbed with the situation. This damn tumor crap is interfering with his cruising lifestyle.
I’ll tell you all something right now. Jamie is a pro at this. He’s handled it before and come out on top. He will come out on top again. All I can say is take this as a lesson. You never know how much time you have left. We don’t all have to have a bout with cancer before we decide to live for today. Nobody does that like Jamie, my best friend.