Those words have always had a specific meaning for me. The long-awaited for words I get to type at the end of a completed book. Recently they took on new meaning.
My dad died on August 15th, my mom, brother and I standing near his bed as his last breath rattled from his body. It was beautiful and sad, a heartbreaking relief to a story where we knew the ending back in November. Like all good books it had its journey, from the ordinary world where life was chugging along, to the tests and allies of diagnoses and prognoses, until finally, the big black moment as my hero struggled and fought bravely against the villain called cancer. In this story, however his victory is bittersweet. His win – a hopefully peaceful ending. I don’t know that he got that. At least for now I am at peace with how things happened.
I am unbelievably sad but also feel lightened now that this story has reached its inevitable conclusion. If there is anything next in this life, I hope dad is sitting by a lake, beer and fishing pole in hand or planning a handyman project with his best friend (beer still in hand) or shelling peas beneath the oak in the backyard with his mom, dad and brothers.
I love you dad, and miss you already.