Goodbye, Dad

I said goodbye to my Dad last night around 7:30. At around 9 in the morning the hospice nurse had said he didn’t have much time left, but she underestimated how much he loved being alive. He fought for every breath he could until the cancer took the last one away from him. He loved everything about his life: his home, his wife, his children. He loved sitting in his easy chair watching a football game. He loved doing volunteer work, helping people out. He especially loved the outdoors. Put a fishing rod in his hands and a lively trout on the line and he simply couldn’t worry about what the rest of the world was doing. Even in his illness he took pleasure where he could; his eyes would light up when I’d arrive with his favorite chocolate-iced doughnut. The best things I know were learned sitting beside him in a freezing duck blind or on a boat trolling for salmon. My greatest triumphs came as he grudgingly doled out three or four dimes after one of our viciously competitive golf games (“That’s a slow putt, Mike; better hit it hard!”) My worst defeat came last night at around 7:30. Goodbye, Dad. Wherever you are, I hope the fish are biting.

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