One year ago today, I was sitting in the back bedroom of my sister and brother-in-law’s home in Las Vegas. I was holding my father’s hand. And I saw his breathing stop.
I ran out into the hall and called Marie and Phil to join us as my dad finished the journey he had been making for months. We gathered around his bed as he peacefully slipped away, his pain ending, his body shutting down after its long battle with kidney cancer. Of course I was sad he died, but I’d spoken with him when I got to Las Vegas the night before, and I could tell he was ready for it all to be over. I was happy to have been there for him at the end, and I know he took comfort by being surrounded by family. I held one hand, my sister the other, as Phil stood at the foot of the bed. I remember thinking that Phil was standing like an honor guard, which was so appropriate, as I know that he loved our dad as much as any of the rest of us.
In the year since my dad’s death, we’ve had other challenges to face, and there are more serious ones to come. But today is a day when all I and my family need to do is to remember and honor our father. I wrote and gave the eulogy at his funeral, which tells a little about the man who affected my life so profoundly. It did not honor him nearly enough, but it was the best I could do.
I have two photos I’d like to share of my dad. This is the earliest picture I could find of me and my dad together; I was around a year old.
This next picture is my dad witnessing the wedding licence at my wedding to Dori:
That was a happy day. I’m glad he was there to share it with us.
I miss you, Dad.