You don’t have to be a golfer or follow the PGA Tour to understand what Phil Mickelson and his family are going through.
If – and granted, it’s a gargantuan if – Tiger Woods hadn’t declared his supremacy over the golfing world the past decade, Mickelson would be head-and-shoulders the most significant fixture in the sport. Last month he became the first player to ever finish second five times at the U.S. Open. It’s easy to say how agonizing that must be, but just to even be that close so many times is remarkable in itself.
Whatever agony it may have caused, it pales in comparison to the fact that Mickelson’s wife Amy was beginning treatment for breast cancer and the uncertainty that comes with it. He had already decided to sit out at least next week’s British Open when news broke yesterday that his mother, Mary, underwent breast cancer surgery last week at the same Houston hospital where Amy had surgery.
Mary Mickelson is an athlete in her own right, having competed for a women’s basketball team in the Senior Olympics a decade ago.
Tina Mickelson, Phil’s sister, said the family decided to go public with the news in hopes of generating the same prayers bestowed upon Amy when news of her cancer became public.
A cynic might say this is unnecessary publicity, particularly since Mickelson has the financial resources to deal with any expenses related to the treatments.
But for anyone who has ever had cancer or had someone close to them who has – which would encompass most Americans – prayer and the knowledge that others are praying for you is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be discounted.