I said goodbye to my dad last week. He died last Saturday. He let go of life shortly after we got to say goodbye. Always had great timing, that guy.
My dad lived in a nursing home in Pagosa Springs, CO, near my younger brother. When it was time to put my dad into hospice care, my brother summoned my other brothers, their kids, Bruce and I and our kids to his house for the send-off.
I call it a send-off because, although it was sad, it was also grand. Dad lay there in the living room like a table centerpiece – just how he would want it – to be the center of attention. My dad couldn’t speak or move and fell in and out (mostly out) of consciousness, but he was there. At times even present to what was going on. When he opened his eyes someone was there to hold his hand and reassure him we were all there with him.
We watched old family videos, told crazy dad jokes, and, more than anything else, we were just together to share in the love we shared for our dad and for each other. Because of Bruce’s and my crazy life, I’ve lost touch with my brothers and this time together was a much-needed reconnection.
In the end, what is there but family and friends? My father left nothing behind but a whole heap of memories – good and not so good. He didn’t leave any material goods; which is fine by me. I don’t want any more stuff. He left four pretty great kids, a lot of grandkids and many great-grandkids to keep the Mott name alive. But the most precious gift he gave me was the gift of connection that I had lost along the way.
So thanks, Dad, for giving me three wonderful brothers who, at the drop of a hat, would stop everything for a family member in need. We will miss you and will always love you.