Amidst this week's remembrances of my mom, I must give proper respect to my dad too. Of course he had the good sense and fortune to marry my mom. He also loved her for, this Halloween would have been 48 years.
The last nine, since the car accident, he loved her as her full-time caregiver. And "full-time" does not begin to encapsulate the around-the-clock effort this entailed, given my mom's many medical complications and therefore the varied and complex things my dad needed to learn on the fly. All of this care he rendered without complaint or cessation, but rather with a tenderness that was at once touching and instructive.
One of the more touching things about this grieving process is the heartfelt condolences folks have sent my family's way, which invariably include some special remembrance of my mom, whether her gentle spirit or loving service. It makes me all the more thankful to have had this special person as my mother and my primary caregiver during my childhood. And, I am equally thankful to have such a worthy example of marital care and commitment, most of their lives being defined by traditional roles of my dad being the breadwinner and my mom the care provider, the both of them utterly devoted to one another, and the last chapter of which was characterized by my dad being the caregiver, and giving good care all the way up until the very end.