The sun is sleeping-in after an impressive rainstorm. The sky on the horizon is heavy like my father’s eyelids; unblinking. Dad loved the birds. Today they are singing with a post-storm celebratory vigor. My heart is like the morning; a light grey-white fog stimulated by the soft patter of raindrops. Heartened by the birds’ song, humbled by the force of the storm; I drink from the moisture laden lush green life – thankful as a farmer for the promise of life-after-the-storm.

Dad passed peacefully yesterday afternoon.

His strength is impressive. The sheer grit and power of Dad’s will was a marvel to witness – yet excruciating. A wrestling match dragged on for several days and nights. Dad’s grip on life and desire for control was an unprecedented opponent for his cancer-ridden body. His grit and determination won round after round even as his body weakened. Only with the help of accumulative medication did the wrestling subside.

Mom, Robin and I were talking and touching Dad when he died while lying under his two favorite pale blue and cream afghans (crocheted by mom). He was on the hospital bed in the TV room next to the sliding patio door where a cool breeze blew. Edye (his kind attentive Hospice nurse) arrived to clean and dress Dad. We had a silent respectful procession on the wrap-around-deck he spent so much time enjoying – from the covered porch at his favorite sit’n spot outside the TV room, past the little wild bunny feeding spot, several bird feeders, the barbeque, and his proudly pruned yard.

Looking up from my computer just now, the rain has subsided. I see a hint of blue on the horizon – the color of my father’s eyes. I can’t see them in the early morning light but I hear a gaggle of Canadian Geese crescendo and fade – a fitting tribute to the man we loved.