A long time and very close friend of mine was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer about a year or so ago.
He and I had spent plenty of hours, like 'hundreds', fixing up the boat, a pristine Westsail 28, and preparing it for cruising. Just as we finished and he and his liveaboard girlfriend were set to leave, he began to feel bad and the long seige with chemo and final arrangements began.
He gave the boat and car and what little remained of his life to his girlfriend and made plans to cruise the Bahamas with her right about now.
Twelve days ago, he and I talked on the phone for about half an hour, and he told me he'd ordered all new charts of the Bahamas and tuned up the autopilot and replaced a fresh water pump.
The next day, I got a call saying that he had suffered a massive heart attack getting off the boat and fell in the water. He somehow climbed out and made it to his girlfriend, who was working in the marina store. She got him to the hospital, where they immediately put him in the ICU, sedated him, and began tests.
He isn't coming home. He has been moved to hospice and has only had brief and vague episodes of consciessness. She spends every minute with him. I spend a lot of time and have gotten him as awake as he has been, with the help of a doctor, and that, only for a few moments.
He will slip away any day. He never transfered the boat or car to his girlfriend. He thought he'd have more time. He talked about preparing, but never did.
The new charts came in yesterday and the girlfriend came unglued.
Take care of business early. Cruise early. Don't wait for a photo finish.
I'm on my way back to the hospice.