My Story is about Dionysios P. Simopoulos (my dad)
This event took place from 10/25/2022 to 08/07/2022
My dad began to lose considerable weight and then was diagnosed with diabetes. This led to further blood exams and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer was diagnosed.
This is My Story
My dad was a prominent scientist, hailed by many as the the most popular and most respected popularizer of astronomy in Greece. But beyond this, my dad was a gregarious, generous and wonderful soul. His laughter and presence would fill a room. He had the inherent ability to make everyone he met feel special. He would bring out the best in others because ultimately that’s what he saw.
When my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 4 years ago on October 25th, 2018, he was told that he would have about 3 to 6 months to live. I still remember the day he told us the news: “The news isn’t good. I have pancreatic cancer and I don’t have much longer to live. But it’s ok, there is good news too. I at least have 6 months of life.” And just like with everything else life had to serve him to that point, so too with this he viewed it as a glass that was not just half-full but overflowing and he decided he was going to make every one of those “6 months” he had left, count. And we as his family had no choice but to follow suit!
So that’s what we did: We lived life … to the fullest. We made every moment count. Even the most mundane moments became major events: like ordering take-out or watching his favorite cooking show. Those were “big” moments because we were doing them together. My brothers and I would share our boring work stories with him almost daily and he would listen to them like he was listening to earth shattering news.
During the past four years – yes, those 6 months turned into close to 4 wonderful years – my dad enjoyed friends, family and loved ones, wrote a few books, ate his favorite seafood, took a huge liking to sushi and watched cooking shows on TV. He would put on music and sing while he would write his books – some of them scientific in nature, others going back in time through his life – but regardless the topic, he would sing. He would note the color of green on the trees and point it out to us. He would walk out to his jasmine bush and would shout to us to come to smell the flowers when they were in bloom. He would make it very apparent when he was biting into a sweet piece of watermelon, telling us it’s the best watermelon he had ever tasted. But most importantly my dad would laugh. He would laugh that infectious laughter that made everyone around him laugh too.
My dad filled us with love. He left us full. And although his absence is huge the love he left us with lives on and because of that love we are fine. Because we made those little moments in time count.
I used to say that my dad carried me literally and metaphorically all my life. And he continues to carry us all with the love and the special memories he left us with. I read somewhere that time does not heal, love does. And I agree. Love not only heals, love lives on.
The Impact of Time
Every minute counted. Every moment counted. We made sure of it.