I know it's been months since I found my way back here...or even back into a book. It's been a long, hellish year and I found that even reading couldn't get my mind off things. So I took a long vacation.
Just before Christmas last year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It started in his lungs, but wasn't caught until a tumor grew on his spine so big that it broke a vertebrae. So I spent a few weeks at my parents' house to help out after his surgery. He started treatment in January and went through 5 months of radiation and chemo before he decided he had enough. By June, it had spread to his brain, and by August, he was confused, agitated and gasping for breath. After a few weeks in hospice care, he finally let go. He was 3 moths away from his 70th birthday.
My dad was a man who was bigger than life. Charismatic, with an infectious laugh and easily the smartest man in any room, he lived his life through logic, rationality and truth. I learned so much from him and yet it feels like I never knew him. He kept so much hidden, right down to the very end. This was the man who patiently taught me to read when I was 3 and always urged me to learn, to question, to take everything with a grain of salt.
It's been 2 months since he passed, and there's a big hole in all of our lives, his passing left ripples that will reverberate for the rest of our lives. I miss you, Dad. I hope and pray that you're somewhere with your family, laughing and finally getting the answers to all the genealogy riddles you spent years trying to untangle. And know that life goes on for us, but just a little dimmer that you light is gone from our lives.
We miss you, Dad.