MARK: The tone… You know, I won’t disguise it. The tone changed in the last year.
There were far too many appearances by us guest hosts. And when Rush was here, as I said, he often had deep and profound thoughts on his mind. Here is Rush from his last show before Christmas. It would be his last Christmas show. Here is Rush talking about what he has learned over the previous grim 12 months.
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RUSH: Folks, I want to tell you at the outset here, to me this is a very important program.
I have very much that I want to say to all of you today, and I’m feeling very pressured. Not pressured. I’m feeling stage fright kind of thing. There’s so much I want to say, and I want to say it correctly. I want to convey my feelings, and I want to do it right. I want to do it to the best of my ability. Now, I have found in circumstances like this that the best thing to do is not to think about it.
Don’t make it more pressure packed than it already is. But it’s very important. You all are very important. My family is very important to me. I’ve had a year now to reflect on the things that really matter, a year to reflect on the things that are completely relevant and important to me. And all of you are in that large conglomeration of people and things that are very important to me.
My feelings of thankfulness always surface. My feelings of great gratitude always surface at the Christmas time of year, and it’s no different this year. Now, in January of this year, toward the end of the month, I received a — you all know, but there’s something I want to say about it — stage 4, advanced lung cancer, terminal diagnosis. The objective of everybody involved was to extend life for as long as possible as enjoyably as possible.
Now, many of you have been through this — lots of you have been through this as individuals, as families — and you know what that means. Medical treatment that is designed to attack the disease as greatly as possible while maintaining a quality of life that makes it worth it. Some people can’t deal with the side effects of chemo or other forms of treatment.
Well, back in late January when I received this diagnosis — and I was shocked. I was stunned, and I was in denial for about a week. I mean, I’m Rush Limbaugh. I’m Mister Big of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I mean, I’m indestructible. I said, “This can’t be right,” but it was. What I didn’t know at the time that I learned later in the course of the year was that I wasn’t expected to be alive today.
I wasn’t expected to make it to October and then to November and then to December — and yet here I am. Today I’ve got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today. God’s with me today. God knows how important this program is to me today, and I’m feeling natural in terms of energy, normal in terms of energy, and I’m feeling entirely capable of doing it today.
I have been blessed. I mentioned to all of you back in the early days, some time… I guess, this might have been in February. It was around, I think, either during or shortly after I had received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at this year’s State of the Union address by President Trump in the House Chamber.
Well, when I got my diagnosis and when I began to receive all of the outpouring of love and affection from everywhere in my life from so many of you in so many ways and from my family — who, man, they have supported me my entire career. Even during times it would have been understandable and easy for them to say, “Rush who? We don’t know this guy.”
But that never happened. I mean, I’ve been totally supported by virtually everybody in my family. I’ve been propped up. I have been defended. I’ve been made to look better than I am. My lovely wife, Kathryn, has done so much in that regard. She has done so much with RushLimbaugh.com and with the charitable efforts that we have engaged in.
And all of it has been to my benefit — and yours. It’s for the benefit of people who are the recipients of our efforts. So many people have put me first in all of this, and I understand now what Lou Gehrig meant, ’cause I certainly feel like that. I feel extremely fortunate and lucky.
And because I have outlived the diagnosis, I’ve been able to receive and hear and process some of the most wonderful, nice things about me that I might not have ever heard had I not gotten sick. Again, think, how many people who pass away never hear the eulogies, never hear the thank-yous? I’ve been very lucky, folks, in I can’t tell you how many ways.
My point in everything today that I’m sharing with you about this is to say thanks, and to tell everybody involved how much I love you from the bottom of a sizable and growing and still beating heart, and there’s room for much more. All because I have learned what love really is during this. You know, I have a philosophy there’s good that happens in everything.
It may not reveal itself immediately — and even in the most dire circumstances, if you just wait, if you just remain open to things, the good in it will reveal itself. And that has happened to me as well in countless, countless ways. You know, I mentioned Kathryn. Don’t misunderstand. She’s done much more than just redesign a website and shepherd the RushLimbaugh.com Store.
She shepherded the charitable efforts, the Betsy Ross, Stand Up for Betsy Ross. The amount of money we generated for the Tunnel to Towers organization is just incredible stuff, and it was all done for me. Well, and the beneficiaries the charity. It was all done for me. All of this was done for me. So many people have done things this year for me, and it’s… I don’t know.
It’s not embarrassing. It’s just gratifying, and it has helped me to see so much so clearly about the goodness of people and their decency. And it’s confirmed so much of my instinctive beliefs about people.
Thank you so much for being with us today, and thank you for being part of this audience for 30 years, 32 years.
Whatever it is, it’s just mind-boggling.
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