We got an email from my dad last night. My dad doesn't email very often. He used to write us a great deal, most often on post it notes that accompanied packets of articles he'd hand selected for us. Sometimes there was a lot crammed onto the post it notes, but usually they were brief. My favorite was one that read: "Dear Kory, This is more than I wrote to your brother, Love Dad." His emails are brief as well, seldom more than a half dozen lines at best, but always both poignant and funny.
Last night's email was particularly powerful. He reminded us that we had reached the one year anniversary of a doctor telling my mom in the hospital that my dad may not make it through the night. But he did. And he's still around a year later having settled back in at home, vacationed with us at the cottage, and seen his grandchildren all grow that much taller and more interesting. If his cancer returns there is nothing left to be done about it, and things are still complicated (particularly from my mom's end), but he's home and getting around under his own power, doing what interests him, and mostly just being my dad. When I think about the nightmarish hospital stays from last year it's hard not to marvel at the difference today.
Dad also mentioned a recent obituary in the Times that said the deceased "had no interest in dying" and he probably didn't either. I'm glad that's nowhere on my dad's to do list. Because I need my dad.