My father had 2 goals in the latter years of his life. Live to be 90 and live out his days on his own in his house. There was never any question that he would go anywhere else. Unfortunately, those 2 goals turned out to be mutually exclusive. His health and mobility deteriorated to the point where even he could see he would no longer be able to live in his house. He died January 16, 2020, with all his faculties still intact. He was in hospital and knew he was dying. At one point on that day he said, “I’m on my way out.” Today would have been his 90th birthday.
There is so much I could say about him, and have said about him in previous blog posts. Dad must have marvelled that he lived as long as he did, given the health issues he had for most of his life. He had a strong will to live and he was stubbornly determined. I love how he adjusted his expectations of what he could do to keep pace with the slow down of his body. He was resourceful and created many workarounds to be able to continue to do the things he wanted to do and loved to do.
It’s been 3 years and it feels like yesterday. I think about him and my mother almost every day and they both come to me regularly in my dreams. I am grateful for the deepening of our relationship over the last decade or two of dad’s life. I am grateful he got to know and become friends with my partner, Jerry. I am grateful he did not have to live through the chaos of the last three years. I think it would have devastated him.
I know how proud he was of me and I think about my own struggles in life and building a business, how challenging the last few years have been. I always I hope that I can live up to my father’s sense of pride in me, his hopes and expectations for me and my life. He continues to guide me and inspire me, both through what I have learned through his “mistakes” or struggles in life and what I have learned through his accomplishments. As my family constellations continue to expand in unexpected ways, I am grateful he and mom took me in as a baby and for his words, “It was love at first sight.”
He loved his grandchildren and always enjoyed spending time with them – even as he wished it was more time.
In the end there is only love, although in many ways, the story never ends.