Retired Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf sent a classic email to friends on July 5, 2012, after he learned he had leukemia. Here are his words:

"Shipmates and others with whom I have shared so much,

"I choose an e-mail to share what follows to reduce the likelihood that the message gets caught up in politics or locker room editing (also an opportunity to respond to the charges that Marines cannot read or write.)

"Should you choose to offer any response, it also offers an easy to schedule means. I love you all but I am not excited by the idea of putting you (or me) on a path filled with sympathy cards and grown-man tears.

"While some tests are still being evaluated and treatment options explored, both are rather grim. I have acute myeloid leukemia.

"While rather morbid, this may be the only good news. When you buy this brand, you move rather quickly from check-in to checkout. I hate long, slow-moving lines.

"Some will say that I should have retired earlier and enjoyed the good life. I say: Poppycock, my life could not have been any better.

"Be it Marine Corps, Office of the Sheriff, going toe-to-toe with a real labor leader or a beer at the slop chute with an old-school reporter, you made my list of those whom made my life one of few regrets.

"I know that there are good men with whom I have lost electronic contact please consider sharing this with them as your paths cross and offer them my regards.


Advertisement

"Semper Fidelis,

Warren"