Rush Limbaugh continues to defy the odds and he gave thanks to his fans for sticking with him during his remarkable career in a heartbreaking sendoff to 2020.
He said, “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.
I want to go back… Normally, by the way, I wait until the third hour of the program. I’ve always said that I usually use the Christmas program such as this one to engage in my thank-yous and my thankfulness for the year, rather than at Thanksgiving, and I don’t know why. There’s something about Christmas, my childhood memories of it, the families getting together and the children making it what it was.
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.
By the way, something I really hope that President Trump does. He had a marvelous speech last night — a four-minute speech on the COVID relief debacle coming out of the Congress — that should be studied in a master’s course in communication. It was clear, it was concise, it was well paced, it was powerful, it was on brand, and it was classic.
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.
You, I — When this kind of thing befalls you, it’s hard not to become self-focused. It’s hard to not just think of yourself, and it’s hard to think that everybody’s gonna drop what they’re doing and deal with me, with you. You have to guard against that because, to the family, this is as disrupting, it’s as upsetting as it is to me and in some cases even more so.
So you can’t — I can’t — be self-absorbed about it when that is the tendency when you are told that you’ve gotta due date, you have an expiration date. A lot of people never get told that, and so they don’t face life this way. This is not a complaint. I’m simply… This is why I say, there’s so much I want to say today and so much I want to say well, so much I want to say exactly as I’m feeling it, because my point in all of this today is gratitude.
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 will never be time to give up on yourself. Trust me.
So we’re gonna do a real program today, and in the in the process of the real program I’m going to be sharing the thoughts that I want to share with you today. I’m gonna just do it at random whenever it hits me, whenever I feel it. I gotta take a break right now. I’m a little long here. We’ll be back. We will continue. 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.”