My Uncle Todd was diagnosed in December of 2007 with Colon cancer with metastasis to the liver, lymph nodes, and lungs. He battled cancer for about 3.5 years and passed away July 18, 2011.
Uncle Todd was treated at the North Coast Cancer Center in Sandusky, Ohio and also the James Center at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Uncle Todd/Uncle Bunny was one of the best uncles I could ask for. To me he was the epitome of a goofy uncle, you know the one that thinks that Dale Earnhardt shirts & flip-flops is dressing up, picks on you every time you see him, and had his signature laugh. You know what I’m talking about… That was his trademark. We’re all going to remember his laugh. Todd laughed a lot and joked around a lot, even when he was sick. He taught us how important a sense of humor is in hard times and that sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Really, through his life he taught me, and I’m sure all of us many things.
He took me fishing once on his boat and said if I didn’t catch enough fish I would get voted off the island, which meant thrown off the boat into the lake. I learned that he always made good on his word as he was the one that caught the least amount of fish and had to jump off the back of the boat. He had all the coolest toys – his boat, jet skis, and snowmobiles and then there’s his vette. If you thought the red T-top was nice, you need to ride in the new one. As Uncle Todd would say, ‘It is choice’. Uncle Todd knew his time was limited and he couldn’t take his money, so why not enjoy his money and buy a corvette. Maybe the greatest thing we can learned from Uncle Todd is ‘Enjoy life while you’re still living’. You can get busy living or get busy dying. He chose to live.
From classic rock music, to Nascar, his boat, his dogs, he was living his dream. It wasn’t perfect, but he lived with no regrets, the best way he knew how. Though his time with us was cut short, Uncle Todd packed a lot of living in those years. He taught us all that life is too uncertain and too short to waste even a day. He taught us that life isn’t always fair. He taught us to fight like heck when the odds are against you.
For us nieces and nephews, he picked on us to no end. Sam was always called Samantha, Tayla always stole the tookies. I just considered it to be his way of saying I love you. For his brothers and sisters, Todd was a little brother and a big brother, and from the stories I’ve been hearing the past few days, he filled those roles perfectly.
He was a son who would do anything for his parents. He had been eating supper with Grandma almost every night – as long as she was cooking! He was also a nephew, a cousin, and a friend. We are all better because we knew him. I’m so thankful we got to spend the day with him at Kelly’s Island. I can honestly say it was a perfect day.
There’s just one thing I’m not going to remember Todd as, and that is a victim of cancer. Victims don’t fight the way Uncle Todd did.
Most of us are familiar with the Bible story of a man named Lazarus. When he died Jesus said he was just sleeping and Jesus brought him back to life by just calling his name and so I end this with the story of a man named Todd Michael Wilhelm, who is just sleeping; getting the rest the past few years didn’t afford him, and when his name is called, he will awaken to live on earth again, healthy. In the words of Job, (Job 14:14-15) 14, If an able-bodied man dies can he live again? All the days of my compulsory service I shall wait, until my relief comes. 15 You will call, and I myself shall answer you. For the work of your hands you will have a yearning.
There’s one last scripture I want to read. The promise God made to Todd and to all of us.
Revelation 21:4 And GOD will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.
Todd Michael Wilhelm may have passed away, but we do not like to say that he lost his battle, because we have picked up right where he left off. His family and friends continue this fight for him. We are fighting in memory of Todd – our son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, and friend.
Mother, Sally Wilhelm; Siblings,Terry Wilhelm, Tim Wilhelm, Troy Wilhelm, Tom Wilhelm, Tina Knieriem, Tana Tucker; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles.