I lost my stepdad a year ago this week. He was three days short of his 92nd birthday; today would have been the 93rd. I loved him dearly, and am hit hard by these dates coming around again, even more than I thought I'd be.
He was an incredibly young-looking and acting person, sharp of mind, physically active and healthy up to the very last (except for the cancer that killed him). He loved Saints football, which shows you that he was tenacious and loyal. ;) In fact, when the Saints lost in the playoffs last year, my brother and I both went, "uh-oh." We'd both thought he'd hold out for a while longer if they went to the Super Bowl.
But they lost; and the next morning, for the first time since his cancer had been diagnosed, he didn't get out of bed. That night he told my mother he loved her, went to sleep, and didn't wake up again. It was a very peaceful death, and we were grateful, because his cancer was of an ugly sort that could have made him suffer for a long time.
At his memorial service, people kept coming up to us and saying, "He had a wonderful life." It was true. And not only was it a wonderful life, but one with few experiences untried and few regrets. An example to strive for.
I wish we could open our eyes
to see in all directions at the same time
Oh what a beautiful view
if you were never aware of what was around you
And it is true what you said
that I live like a hermit in my own head
But when the sun shines again
I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in.
Sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole
Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound
But while you debate half empty or half full
It slowly rises, your love is gonna drown
Death Cab for Cutie, "Marching Bands of Manhattan"
for DK, 1/25/15-1/22/07