Saying Goodbye

One of my favorite childhood memories was hanging out with my parent’s friends. Describing this group as fun, would be a complete understatement. I remember New Year’s Eve parties at my parent’s house where they would roll up the rug, move the furniture back, turn on the music and dance. Sometimes I would simply watch from the stairs and other times, I was right in the center of the action. Being the youngest of all of the kids, I reaped the benefits of having a group of extra parental figures.

One couple in particular made an incredible impact. They happen to be my Dad’s Godparents after he converted to Catholicism prior to marrying my Mom. They continue to be a staple in my life. My adopted “aunt and uncle” are a constant reminder that you have the family chosen for you and also the family you choose yourself. Grateful I have both.

On Saturday, I got a call from one of my very good friends, who happens to be their daughter, to inform me that her Dad is in Palliative care, after a fall that resulted in a broken hip and a brain bleed. He is 92. His time is approaching and I am heartbroken. Let me tell you a little about my adopted “uncle”.

He has this infectious smile with a glimmer of mischief in his eyes. If I heard the story once, I heard it a thousand times of how I was the youngest patient in his podiatry practice when apparently I had in ingrown toenail as a toddler. When my Dad died, he told me he would always be there for me. He is kind. He is funny. He has this incredibly generous heart and this massive love for his family. I’m not sure he has ever met a stranger.

Today, I get to spend the afternoon with my “aunt” and take her to see her husband. This is my time to simply thank him for his presence in my life, to remember what a blessing his friendship has been to my parents, and to simply be in the moment.

I like to think that my Dad is waiting for his friend with a cocktail and a cigar – both favorites of my “uncle”. That they can continue the party until we all meet again. That is the only thing that brings a smile to my face as my eyes are clouded by tears. He has lived a great life and I am grateful to be a small part of it.

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