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#244387 - 08/06/07 07:26 AM Cardinal Smith passed away
Marty Online   happy
From a good friend....

It is with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes that I announce the passing of my best friend from my childhood days in Belize … one of only a couple of friends I have kept in touch with throughout the years.

My dear friend, confidant, brother and former drinking buddy Cardinal Smith passed away about 6:00 PM Aug 3 in New York after a long battle with colorectal cancer. He was 55 and his mother’s only child. Both his parents reside in Brooklyn.

I had flight reservations to visit with him and his wife in Brooklyn on August 17th. Like I did with my cousin in Chicago back in June, I wanted so much to see my friend while he was still alive even if his condition wouldn’t permit him to recognize who I was. But it was not to be.

I last saw Cardinal on August 19th, 2005 when I was in New York for a cousin’s wedding. He came and got me that Saturday morning and we went to Junior’s Cheesecake in Brooklyn for breakfast.

I will always remember our conversation that morning. We were catching up on old times and laughing about the many “indiscretions of youth”, as he called them. I can’t remember how the conversation turned to health issues, but I asked him if he had gotten his colonoscopy done since we were now both over 50.

Always being the joker that he was, he said “Steve bwai, I no gwain mek no dakta go up my ass with no bloddy long tube.” I told him it wasn’t funny and that when I had mine done shortly after turning 50, it took less than 30 minutes and I didn’t even feel anything. He maintained that there was no history of cancer in his family and that he didn’t have anything to worry about.

The following month when I was in Belize for my brother Alfonso’s funeral, Cardinal also happened to be there with his wife Clarita and they both attended my brother’s funeral. Cardinal spent a long time afterwards consoling my mom. She has known him since our childhood days because he’d come by her house looking for me.

Cardinal and his wife Clarita were in Belize to plan their wedding reception for August 26, 2006. They had been married for three or four years but wanted to have a good old-fashioned Belizean wedding reception in Belize, and they asked me if I would DJ for it, to which I gladly agreed.

One evening in April 2006, I’d just gotten home from work and had just finished eating my supper and was sitting on the sofa in the living room watching the evening news when the phone rang. It was Clarita, Cardinal’s wife.

I told her “Gial, unno gwain live long yu know. I mi jus deh pan di intanet last night di look fi passage fi go da Belize fi unno wedding eena August.” Perhaps that wasn’t so prophetic after all.

She asked me if I was sitting down and I told her yes. She said the wedding was off. I said “Clarita please don’t’ tell me you and Cardinal broke up.” She said no, that he had noticed blood in his stool earlier in the month and went to the doctor, and tests have confirmed that he’s got Stage 3 colorectal cancer. She said that meant he had a few months at best because it was incurable.

I remember my eyes welling up with tears. Cardinal would not speak to me or any of his friends for quite some time after that, but he finally called one Sunday and apologized for shutting us out. He said he just couldn’t talk about it. We talked twice after that and I swear, one would not have known I was talking to a dead man walking. He tried to be just as jovial as funny as he always was, but during our conversation, he acknowledged that he was on the way out. I told him I loved him as my brother and would always keep him in my thoughts and prayers. Little did I know at that time that I too would soon become a cancer patient.

I chatted with his wife on MSN Messenger in April and she gave me what was bitter-sweet news. She said she was pregnant and was due in June. She said it was totally unplanned and we joked about Cardinal being so weak to even walk yet had enough energy to be making babies. She said she thought it was God’s gift to her because she knew that Cardinal wasn’t going to be around for much longer.

In early July, I called Clarita to see how they were doing and tell her that I was going to come and spend a weekend with them in New York. I then asked about the baby, and she said she was sorry to inform me that she had carried the baby to full term and gave birth only to have the baby die 6 hours later. She did not tell me what the baby died from nor did I ask her.

My heart is really aching for the loss of my dear friend, but I hurt even more for his dear wife who has suffered two tragic losses in such a short period of time.

My friend is now at rest. May God bless and keep his wife and family and help them through this very difficult time.

Lay down my dear brother. Lay down and take your rest.

I wanna lay your head, upon your savior’s breast.

I love you, but Jesus loves you best.

I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.


#244392 - 08/06/07 08:55 AM Re: Cardinal Smith passed away [Re: Marty]
Bill Mc Ghee Offline
Your story of your Friend Cradinal touched my heart. I too send sympathy to his wife , as you said, she suffered two tragic losses in such a short period of time.I hope God blesses her in many ways.

I am a mirror image of your Friend Cardinal, to the extent that I too refused to have a colonoscopy, either through, stubbornes,ignorance or Stupidity.When I finally did submit to the short, Harmless test I was found to have colo/rectal cancer. Unlike Cardinal though mine was not as advanced and a operation and subsequent Chemotherapy has (seems) to have done the trick in ridding me of the cancer. I'm 3 years into the battle and so far so good.

I hope that anyone who reads your story of Cardinal, and are 50 or over will call thier doctor and schedule the test. Colorectal cancer is one of the easiest to cure( If Caught early) and one of the worst if gone undetected.

My sympathy also extends to you as well Steve.It sounds like you lost one Hell a Buddy. But ,as you said also, " But Jesus Loves You Best"
Never Use money to measure wealth

#244468 - 08/06/07 09:31 PM Re: Cardinal Smith passed away [Re: Bill Mc Ghee]
Marty Online   happy

Thanks so much for sending this on to me.

I know a lot of folks on the list think I’m mushy because I post a lot of stuff that touches the heart and soul. But that’s just the way I am. I happen to be on MSN Messenger with Cardinal’s wife right now and I just now purchased the flight to fly into La Guardia on Thursday morning and fly back out Friday evening.

I’m going to copy the list on this simply because I have several friends on the list whom I would like to encourage to get a checkup. Even if they’ve had no history of cancer in their families and feel otherwise healthy, and even if they’re not quite 50 years old yet, I strongly encourage all you males on the list to get a checkup. And for my female friends and acquaintances, the same applies to you. I’ve had two female friends die this year from cancer, both were in their 50’s, and I’ve got another friend who just had a mastectomy and another who’s receiving chemo for uterine cancer right now. Both are also in their 50’s.

Marty, I was so sorry to hear about your accident. I hope and pray you’re recovering and that everything is okay.


#245439 - 08/19/07 02:11 PM Re: Cardinal Smith passed away [Re: Marty]
USgal Offline
How can I get in touch with Steve? The person he so eloquently wrote about was my father.

Edited by USgal (08/19/07 02:11 PM)

#245449 - 08/19/07 03:52 PM Re: Cardinal Smith passed away [Re: USgal]
Pam&Dave Offline
The true "spirit" of the messege board is alive and well.
"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself"

#245455 - 08/19/07 05:09 PM Re: Cardinal Smith passed away [Re: Pam&Dave]
DB Offline
The message is clear, for anyone 50 or older, get the colonsocopy.

I was 46 when they found mine and luckily it was caught in time to limit the beast to an relative inconvenienience of surgery, chemo and radiation that 2 yrs later seems to have done the trick.

Don't mess around with it. And if anyone in your family has had it, then having the procedure by age 40 is now recommended. We don't need to unnecessarily lose any more good folks like your Cardinal to apathy.

Live Long and Happy!


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