By Toby Moore
For Capital Region Independent Media
All of us go through chapters of our lives that seem permanent.
The feeling of permanence can come from the length of the phase; my father, Gary W. Moore, a successful author, who published three books and left many stories yet unpublished, started this column in 2017. He developed stomach cancer in 2018. Even so, I felt that the portion of my life that included my father would last forever.
My father’s story began to end when, every once in a while, he wasn’t able to hold down his food, and then over the next two years, he wasn’t able to hold down his food at all until he withered down to the weight of about 80 pounds.
After his diagnosis, he believed he would live many more years; although he knew stomach cancer would end his life, it wouldn’t be any time soon.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and as I look back on it, it was absurd of me to think that he would live much longer. He was starving to death right in front of my eyes.
The day he died, his eyes dried out and were unable to close; he couldn’t talk; I kept thinking there must be a way to save him and bring him back. Dripping saline solution into his eyes and using a dropper to give him liquid vitamin C, I knew he was going to come back. I went to the grocery store to pick up some items quickly, and then I got the call from my sister that he’d passed.
I almost didn’t believe it. I rushed back home as fast as I could to see for myself, and sure enough, he had left his body. He’d finished his final chapter.
I didn’t realize how much the storyline of my life was about to change. As the days went on, I had to take up more and more responsibility. Things that my father used to take care of, suddenly were my responsibility. I wasn’t upset about the duties that suddenly landed in my lap, but there was the anxiety.
How would I continue to launch my business? How would I take care of my mom? How would I write this column? The new things that had to be taken care of seemed endless.
After a period of anxiety and worry, I realized that although the chapters of my life that included my father were many, the story must continue without him.
When one chapter ends, another begins. It’s funny how new information comes to light. A new scenario begins to surface from the depths, the plot twists and turns. Suddenly, you realize the novel didn’t end; it was simply the end of a chapter.
As the adventure continues, when one life ends, another is revealed. What seemed like a curse can be a blessing. New friendships pop up and a new future unfolds, a celebration of new life and new family. Something you’ve never noticed can suddenly come into plain view. A secret emerges out of the darkness and shines bright — buried treasure.
The stress, the worry, the heartbreak, the betrayal, the pain, the anger, the rage, the regret, the forgiveness, the love, the happiness, the joy, all of the surprises, and all the things that make you smile and cry serve to show that we are all human. You can write a new chapter if you let go, accept the past and embrace the future.
As the pages turn, we discover that all of us make mistakes, all of us can forgive. It is possible to change and become something better. As we look back on it, we might agree that all of the feelings we’ve felt help make life more suspenseful, meaningful and engaging.
After all, what would life be without feelings? Whether the feelings are good or bad, it’s a way to let us know that the saga continues. We are just living out the story of our lives.
No matter what you’ve gone through, I still believe new chapters can be written.
Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.