Randy Pausch set the tone early on yesterday at his farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University.
"If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you," said Dr. Pausch, a 46-year-old computer science professor who has incurable pancreatic cancer.
"What we're not going to talk about today," he continued, "is cancer, because I've spent a lot of time talking about that ... and we're not going to talk about things that are even more important, like my wife and [three preschool] kids, because I'm good, but I'm not good enough to talk about that without tearing up."
What he was there to discuss was how to fulfill your childhood dreams, and the lessons he had learned on his life's journey.
"I find that I am completely positive," he wrote. "The only times I cry are when I think about the kids -- and it's not so much the 'Gee, I'll miss seeing their first bicycle ride' type of stuff as it is a sense of unfulfilled duty -- that I will not be there to help raise them, and that I have left a very heavy burden for my wife."
His wife and children, he said, "mean everything to me. They give a purpose to life and a depth of joy that no job [and I've had some of the most awesome jobs in the world] can begin to provide.