The week following his death we cleaned out all his stuff. Going through his bathroom closet tears flowed as I threw away tubing, needles, syringes, bandages, and endless bottles of prescription pills. Living far away from the situation often removed me from the dailyness of it, all he was enduring and all my mom was enduring, too. It seemed tragic that they'd spent the last 13 years dealing with disease instead of traveling or building their dream house or even just living a normal life.
Looking back now, those 13 years were not tragic but important. My parents showed us what life/marriage is supposed to be: hard. They also showed us what you do when life happens: keep going. Marriage is not just for convenient times but for dark times as well. My mom was loyal and true to my dad when he couldn't financially provide. She stayed when he got sick. She sacrificed everything for him and us. It's comforting to know my dad lived a life full of love and devotion, thanks to my mom. He had it good. She was there for him until his last day.
I miss you Dad, and Happy Mother's Day Mom. I want to be just like you.