Today is the fourth anniversary of my father’s death. When it became apparent a few days before Thanksgiving that his passing was imminent, we couldn’t know which date would be the one we’d wind up noting each year. I had a much better idea about it when I got the call from the Hospice inpatient facility where he was staying late morning on December 5, telling me I should travel north to be with him and Mom. I was in the middle of giving a final, but I’d given warning to colleagues that I might need to leave suddenly.
Mom and I spent the rest of the day offering comfort and kind words, even though Dad had been unresponsive for the better part of two weeks. We got a little sleep that night, but somehow I knew to wake around 4am. His ever shallower breathing stopped about 45 minutes later. I got Mom home just ahead of a storm that dropped several inches of snow.
In observance, I’m putting up a few pictures. The one above was taken on Christmas Day, 2002.
Here’s one of our first pictures together, from the spring of 64.
This is undated, likely taken for a church directory. I’d guess it’s from the late 90s. I took that tie for my collection when I was clearing out my parents’ things.
And finally, here’s me, my almost eight-month-old son, and my seven-year-old nephew Chance with Dad on his 70th birthday, June 2001.
You’re never far from my mind, Dad.