My new year started out with a heavy heart. I lost my father, who had been ailing for some time and had lost the quality of life that he enjoyed for the majority of his 84 years. His long stride had been reduced to a slow shuffle, and his once hearty appetite diminished to no desire for even a morsel. It was painful to watch his health deteriorate. It was even more painful to admit him to a hospice, where he would rest until the end of his life. It was agonizing for us to give the directive to remove all life lines. When he was told that he would be moving to the hospice, he said, “Good. I’ll be free as a bird.” Today while driving through town, there was a gaggle of geese, along the side of the road, that suddenly took flight directly in front and above my car. I was impressed with the beauty and size of these Canadian birds. I couldn’t help imagine that my dad would have been in awe of that sight. Here’s a quote that I came across that expresses beautifully how I will remember him:
We cannot lose the ones we love for even when they’re gone, we feel their gentle presence in the hush of every dawn. We see them in the sunlight that makes the day so bright, in the flowers of the springtime and in the stars at night. We cannot lose the ones we love, for they will always stay in all that’s bright and beautiful around us day by day. -Graham
I love you, Dad.