Sunday, April 21, 2019
Growing up we played games, didn't watch TV much, but played games. I grew up with 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and my parents played with us. Boardgames, always board games. When we got older it was fun to find games that accommodated at least 6 players and were fun and challenging. For a while, it was our go-to gift to each other. We played a lot of Monopoly. My dad taught us to play fair, to play and take risks... and to lose with grace.
Life is a bit like Monopoly. You play the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; you buy and sell and you gamble. My dad played the game to the end. He bought and sold, he gambled and he believed in luck and fate.
Late last year my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, his biggest fear. He was at the point where he admitted to himself that he could no longer drive safely, did not remember details and needed help. In January my dad celebrated his 82nd Birthday. He called later that month and let me know that he had a checkup and they went ahead and made arrangements for when his Alzheimer's took his ability to think for himself. He let me also know they found other health issues that were serious.
My dad sounded good the next time we talked and he had a clear mind that day. He remembered things and we talked about every one of us here. I remember thinking how content my dad sounded. Because you have to know he hated that he had Alzheimer's. That was a big loss to him.
...and my dad was still playing the game. A game he lost on March 28th. My dad passed away that night and he used his "get out of Jail card". He was gone in an instant. My dad was diagnosed with a week spot in his cardioid artery. The doc offered surgery, but my dad had declined knowing full well that his life could end in an instant. We all knew he was diagnosed, but only my dad knew how long the doc predicted he would live.
Last month we put my dad to rest and knowing what we all know, we are all content. We will miss him for a long time, but my dad, in the end, took the gamble and still won his game.