Saturday, February 2, 2013


When David Bolda found out he had Stage 4 inoperable lung cancer, he set a goal for himself to climb Mt. Timpanogos (11,750 ft.) This was no easy task for anyone but it would be especially challenging for someone who was fighting for every breath. It would take incredible determination, strength, and stamina...pure will power, heart and faith.

On the day of the hike David (my dad) was prepared to push his body to the limit and in his own words, "It is my way of thumbing my nose at the disease." He was prepared, armed with his two hiking poles to lean on and several family members and close friends by his side. With each step they climbed slowly but surely, stopping every so often for my dad to catch his breath. The higher they climbed the thinner the air became and the tougher it was on my dad's already strained lungs. But he would not quit, he had a mountain to conquer, he had cancer to beat, he had a goal to pursue and an underlying example to set for his family.
The backpack he was carrying began to weigh 1,000 pounds, threatening to steal the little energy he had left. My brother David, knowing that my dad needed every ounce of strength to continue on, quickly grabbed my dad's backpack and carried it along with his own. Slower and slower they climbed. My dad so weary, breathing heavier and heavier, but forging ahead toward his goal. The support of his loved ones lifting his spirits and encouraging him every step of the way. He was on a mission, an unstoppable, unquenchable desire to prove that the heart is bigger than the cancer and pain.

After several long, grueling hours, my dad's dream and goal was achieved. This mission was accomplished with faith to reach above limits, to trust and rely on the close family and friends that Heavenly Father had placed in his life; helping him through struggles, trials, illness and sometimes incredibly difficult mountains.
My dad survived 5 years after that devastating inoperable lung cancer diagnosis which initially gave him less than a year to live. He made the most of everyday saying, "I've been given another day to live so I'm going to find someone to help each and everyday." These were not just words...he lived it and in doing so, left a legacy, an example and a goal for each one of us to strive for.

The day after my dad's amazing accomplishment he said, "It was a great challenge but I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and to teach my family that they can accomplish much in the face of adversity."

Today on this one year anniversary of my dad's passing, I want to tell him, "Dad, you've climbed your final and greatest mountain....this life. You've reached your crowning glory...Heaven. I'm so grateful to have been given such an incredible example! I'll continue to climb my mountains with the knowledge you've instilled in me...knowing without a doubt: "I can accomplish much in the face of adversity!"



Sera Yun. said...

Lisa, your dad was beyond incredible!
I was crying upon reading this entry. I was so touched! I never meet him but I could sense he was such a great man. A strong and kind man. You are in fact living his way, you know. I would not have survived my struggle with suicide and the depression I had back then if it wasn't because of your constant caring, uplifting and understanding comments.
You're such a blessing for me, Lisa! And now I know how you can be such, you have such a remarkable man as your father.
I am living a good life now, and I too will take on his example. I will fight everything that comes my way, I will look at the world positively and I will be grateful and happy.

Thanks Lisa, and Thank you, Mr. Bolda for successfully raising up such an incredible daughter. God bless him.

*hugs* :)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful (and true) tribute to the most wonderful father and husband that ever lived. Thank you for sharing a bit of insight to others, what we, his family were privileged to witness and be blessed by. I love you my Lisi-always and forever! Mommy

Tj and Amy said...

Love that post lis! well said! Till we meet again!

DUTA said...

Very moving post!
Your father was quite a personality!
May his soul rest in Peace!+

Lisa Petrarca said...

@Sera-Thank you so much for your kind made me cry too! I'm so happy you are doing so good and that God was able to use me during a tough time in your life. Continue to seek after your dreams and you will achieve all you've hoped for. So glad we're truly a special and amazing woman! Hugs to you too!!:D

Lisa Petrarca said...

@Mom-I wanted everyone to know how amazing dad was and what better than to share his words. I love you!!

Lisa Petrarca said...

@Duta-He was an amazing man and I'm so happy to get to share him with the entire world! I hope all is well with you my and Israel are in my prayers.

Lisa Petrarca said...

@Ames-Thanks Mimi...we were so lucky and it's so true...till we meet again.

Lucy said...

What a lovely tribute and what a strong will power your dad had. Is your mom still dancing to the crazy dance. I can never remember the name of it. That was so funny. I did comment but was never sure you got it because my computer was bing crabby.