The time of year

Eight years ago today, my dad was home, in hospice care. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six weeks before. The decline was swift. He could still sit up for short periods, and he wasn’t in pain. But his body was breaking down, and there were times when he was someone else. His appetite was non-existent, and as the days went on, he slept more and more.

That December 14th marked my parents’ 47th anniversary. Dad managed to sit up for a bit. He talked. He even took a few puffs of a cigarette. He made it through the day on sheer willpower, I believe, then slipped away. He passed away the afternoon of the 16th. A frigid day. Snow on the ground.

We’re in the midst of an unseasonably warm jolt now–50s, with rain–so this day isn’t like that day. Dad would have been happy that he didn’t have to shovel snow.