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First And Last Boat... A Story Of Life And Death

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First And Last Boat... A Story Of Life And Death

Old 04-01-2017, 10:22 AM
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Default First And Last Boat... A Story Of Life And Death

Thought I'd share the story about my experience in selling my little 15' Allison bass boat this past Thursday. Here's what I posted on Facebook that evening.

"Had a guy email me from Craigslist, and the email simply read, "Can I come look at your boat?". I figured it was spam, but I replied back, "Give me a call, and we'll set up a time."

A few hours later, he called. He asked no questions about the boat other than to ask when I could show it to him. We set a day and time, and when the car pulled up, there were two guys in it. They both got out, and the driver introduced himself as Jim, the guy on the phone. He then introduced me to Mike and said he was the one actually interested in the boat. I would guess Mike is around 70, and after looking at the boat a few minutes, he made the comment, "I've never owned a boat before." I laughed and told him we needed to fix that!

He kept commenting about how good a shape the boat was in and couldn't believe it was 37 years old. We talked some more, and he asked if I could toss in a couple of life jackets on the deal. I told him, no problem. He mentioned he would need to buy a cover for it, and I told him no problem again as I already had one for it. He pulled out an envelope and counted out the cash saying his wife had given him that money and for him to go out and buy a boat. He asked if he could come back and pick it up today, and I told him that would be fine. His buddy didn't know anything about boats either, so I went over everything I could think of to tell them. I was surprised he would take the boat without even running it, much less pay me in full with cash and not take it right then and there. He told me he trusted me, and I did show him video of me and Ryan running the boat last fall. I then told him, depending on when he planned to come back for it, I would go with him to run it to make sure he knew how everything worked. He said that would be good, but that it really wasn't necessary.

When I got home and finished dinner, I sent Jim a text and told him I would go back out to the boat this morning and put a charger on the batteries, just to make sure everything was ready to go. I asked him to give me a call when they were getting ready to leave, and I would do my best to be there. He thanked me and wrote this...

'I want you to know that Mike was recently diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer that has spread throughout his stomach and his liver. The doctor gave him six months to live. This boat has really cheered him up.'

I texted him back and told him that one way or the other, I would be there to make sure everything was still right with the boat and to make sure Mike was comfortable running it. I just hope the weather holds out, but if it doesn't, I told him I would get up with him when I get back from delivering a safe to Charleston, SC this weekend."

To pick up where that left off, I did get everything ready for that run on Friday and even gathered up a few things I thought Mike could use. Jim texted me that he and Mike would come down around four Friday which was going to work fine for me. A couple of hours later, just before 4PM, he texted again and said Mike told him to apologize to me as he didn't feel well enough to make the trip. I told him no apology necessary and that I would contact him when I got back. I ended up making a 21 hour day of yesterday and got home at 2:30 this morning. I texted Jim around 10 and told him we could run the boat this afternoon or tomorrow if Mike was up to it, but he has yet to reply.

I sure hope I'm able to see Mike with a big smile on his face that comes from running one's first boat for the first time, but I have to wonder. Could be I'll be handing back that cash to him or his soon to be widow. No way could I keep it and feel right about it if he's just not able to take it. I've made a lot of friends over the years through either buying or selling a boat, but this is the first time I've dealt with anything like this. Cancer sucks.
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:32 AM
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Of course you already know what to do. You were chosen for this because you are you.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird1 View Post
Of course you already know what to do. You were chosen for this because you are you.
You will do the right thing. Cancer sucks.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:46 AM
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F*#ck you cancer.

You have a million problems until you get sick. Then you only have one.

Best wishes to Mike and hope he can enjoy the boat some.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:08 PM
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Bet he won't worry about what wax to use on the hull or how long to flush the motor after he uses it.

A needed reality check. Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:16 PM
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Wow. I hope he gets to enjoy it. I am glad he is getting it from you. Take some pix if you get the opportunity. That should be a good smile.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jrolin1 View Post
Wow. I hope he gets to enjoy it. I am glad he is getting it from you. Take some pix if you get the opportunity. That should be a good smile.
That is exactly what I was planning to do. Mike doesn't know that Jim told me about his condition, and I plan to take a photo of him behind the wheel. He seems like a really good guy.

I'll stay in touch with Jim (and Ken if he wants to) and let his wife know I'll help her sell the boat when the time comes. Hopefully he will have kids or grandkids to pass it on to who will enjoy it. I did hear back from Jim a while ago who told me he had been out in the sticks with no cell service. He said he would check with Mike about us running the boat tomorrow.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:49 PM
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I was a yacht club bar a few weeks ago. Guy comes in and buys everybody a round. Start talking to him - he's a really nice guy. I know he's sick you can just see it - there was no mistaking it. Ask him what he has for a boat, he responds a 42'-something sailboat. He goes "I don't know how much time I have left" - tells me he has cancer, I didn't ask as I didn't have to. I tell him I know what he's going through. I did it in 2015 with my mother. Ask him where he's being treated. Yep, same hospital. He doesn't even say the building - just asks "7 or 11?" (referring to the floors). I tell him I know both more than I want to. That between my sister and myself we spent 40 nights in the hospital adamant that she would never be alone. He goes to leave. I shake his hand, look him in the eye and tell him that I will be thinking and praying for him. You really just never know what someone else is going through.

I don't see what the point is in being treated. At that point, it should be palliative care only. The pills and side-effects aren't worth it for a few more lousy weeks on this earth.
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:56 PM
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Very cool story.

I hope Mike is able to enjoy at least one outing.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BOSBoatMan View Post
I was a yacht club bar a few weeks ago. Guy comes in and buys everybody a round. Start talking to him - he's a really nice guy. I know he's sick you can just see it - there was no mistaking it. Ask him what he has for a boat, he responds a 42'-something sailboat. He goes "I don't know how much time I have left" - tells me he has cancer, I didn't ask as I didn't have to. I tell him I know what he's going through. I did it in 2015 with my mother. Ask him where he's being treated. Yep, same hospital. He doesn't even say the building - just asks "7 or 11?" (referring to the floors). I tell him I know both more than I want to. That between my sister and myself we spent 40 nights in the hospital adamant that she would never be alone. He goes to leave. I shake his hand, look him in the eye and tell him that I will be thinking and praying for him. You really just never know what someone else is going through.

I don't see what the point is in being treated. At that point, it should be palliative care only. The pills and side-effects aren't worth it for a few more lousy weeks on this earth.
I get the feeling Mike isn't being treated as this is very late in the game to be just now finding out. Given the description of his cancer, I would think six months to be very optimistic. Six months of life certainly doesn't equate to six months of being able to use a boat. I told him I wouldn't cancel the insurance until after he ran it and was happy with it.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:17 PM
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At 83 my mom had five good months with pancreatic cancer that went everywhere in her. She never fought it, we did everything she wanted, and kept her in her house until she passed. Tough road the last month. I hope Mike beats my mom's good month timeline.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird1 View Post
Of course you already know what to do. You were chosen for this because you are you.
My thought exactly.

You are a good, if not great-one, Freeebird.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:12 PM
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God only gives us what we can individually handle!
Like mentioned, he chose you for a reason. This man was guided to you for a reason.

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Old 04-01-2017, 05:20 PM
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sure hope Mike get's a bunch of enjoyable trips out of his boat, dang
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:20 PM
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Just got a text from Jim a few minutes ago. He had been "out in the sticks" all day and had no cell service. Tomorrow wasn't going to work, and he wasn't sure about when he could drive down on Monday with Jim. They're about 20 miles away, so I told him I would be more than happy to bring the boat there and meet them at a ramp we are both familiar with.

He talked to Mike who said that would be great. Unless something happens, I hope to snap a photo of a smiling face around 4PM Monday. Hopefully this story will have a happy ending, even if the happiness is just temporary. Stay tuned.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:22 PM
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my mother in law had pancreatic for 31/2 years ... she showed me the meaning of brave and Im glad her and I got to know each other and became close during her illness.
She shared a lot of wisdom with me , Ill never forget
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:23 PM
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You're a good guy Freebird. My neighbor was just diagnosed, with the same. He just sold his boat and is tidying up any loose ends to make things easier for his wife. Cancer sucks.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
sure hope Mike get's a bunch of enjoyable trips out of his boat, dang
Me too. The motor runs great, but it's 37 years old. It could run 30 more years or 30 more minutes. Not much I can do about that other than try to help if something goes wrong.

If y'all see a link to a Go Fund Me Page, you'll know what happened.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by spraynet 1 View Post
God only gives us what we can individually handle!
Like mentioned, he chose you for a reason. This man was guided to you for a reason.

This.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:04 PM
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Good story buddy.....
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