Three things I've learned over the last two weeks.
1. Humor can go a long way.
In the hospital, we were showing my father the latest Mission Impossible movie. We had to pause it at one point, so the nurse - the awesome Bradley - could give my dad his medicine. He had to deliver the medicine in an unconventional way because my dad was so nauseous, so my mom, my sister and I stepped outside to give him room.
When Bradley came out into the hallway afterward, he pulled off his latex gloves and announced, "You won't see that on Mission Impossible!"
He was right. We didn't see it.
2. Some gifts shouldn't be acknowledged.
My family is all for organ donation. If there is a chance someone can live, or thrive, because of a gift from someone who is dying, we support it. We were lucky enough to be able to donate the corneas of my dad's eyes, and we didn't hesitate. We are thrilled that someone who couldn't see will now be able to view life through a different perspective.
However, in recognition of the donation, the eye and cornea organization sent me a thank you card, and a plastic three ring binder with some sort of saying printed on the front about how to deal with the loss of a loved one.
Now all I can think is, "We gave you my dad's eyes, and you gave us a Trapper Keeper!"
2. a. Sometimes my grief manifests itself in anger.
3. I am not alone.
We have been fed, embraced and ministered to by countless friends and loved ones. As my friend Sally says, I'm now a member of the "Cancer took my dad" club, where the price of membership is way too high, but you're never alone.
There's no gesture of support more organic than catching someone else's tears, and my tears have been caught so many times. They've never hit the ground.
Thank you to everyone, for catching my tears.
And now, as my dad said during his last day in this life, "Let's move forward."