He died this morning in the hospital at Charlottesville, Virginia. My brave mom was at his side, though he was beyond knowing that. While we couldn't know exactly when it would come, this day was not unexpected. My dad had been frail physically for several years, suffered from leukemia that robbed him of his vigor, and in the past year he'd been losing the war with dementia.
That fact makes his death not one whit easier to accept, or to bear.
I could fill a book with the reasons why my dad was important to me, but I won't try to enumerate them here. They're all the usual reasons, plus some that I think really are particular to him. He was a wonderful father, and I am proud to be his son.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember past posts and photographs (like the one of him at right, at Mt. Lassen National Park in 2007) from the many trips we had the great good fortune to be able to take together. I've always cherished those experiences and memories. They are, of course, even more precious now.
There have been many occasions, thankfully, for me to show and tell my dad that I loved him. He was always good for a hug, and the years wore on, I grabbed every one of them that I could. I'll miss them, and so many more things about him. I love you, dad. Always will. And starting a little while ago, I'm missing you so very much...