But it's sinking in and getting easier with each passing day. I think of the conversations he and I had this past year. Death was often the topic of choice.
He'd lived a pretty colorful life up until around the time I was born - served in WWII, was stationed in the Phillipines, met and married my mom there, traveled around and worked in civil service, owned a radio station, had three kids... He was 40 years old when I was born, and at that point, he settled down and took a job as a math, science, and engineering instructor at the junior college in our little hometown.
|Dad, apparently practicing his powers of meditiation|
one late 80s Christmas...
In addition to his robust health that kept him going for 91 years, despite his age, his head of hair remained relatively full and wavy. Since it all had turned white, we would think of him fondly as "Moses". This past year, he began going with the buzz cut. I suspect this was mainly for practical purposes, but I told him he even looked like a Buddhist monk.
I'll miss those conversations. I think what I'm most grateful for at this point is that my dad's mind stayed sharp right up until the very end. If it had been reduced somehow by dementia or other neurological problems, that would have been truly tragic.
A few hours after my dad's passing, I got a call from a rep from the local organ and tissue donor facility, as my dad was a registered donor. She asked for my consent and then went through several questions for screening purposes. Afterwards, I remarked that I was honestly surprised that they would be very interested in the remains of someone my dad's age.
But she explained to me that his skin was very useful. Apparently, older skin is better than younger skin for grafting. The less elasticity, the better - who knew??
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”- Buddha