The start of 2023 didn’t happen the way I wanted it to because I went home unplanned to MN because my dad wasn’t doing so well. I’m glad I went home because the four days I was there, he passed away on my last day. It hasn’t even been a week since he has died, but a part of me feels even more resolve to try a little harder to be a more productive and a better overall person. The last time I dealt with death was a long time ago with my biological mother, but this time it was different. I spent over forty years with my dad and even though we lived in different states, he meant a lot to me and even more near the last five years. When my immediate family and his siblings were at the hospital, it was bittersweet. I enjoyed seeing my aunts and uncles and their friends, but it was under the wrong circumstances. I couldn’t believe how much he had changed. He could no longer speak although he knew we were there. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t see anymore and when he did open his eyes, he looked around the room when possible. He struggled to speak the day before he died, but none of us could understand him. This is not what I want to remember. I was glad he didn’t have to struggle anymore from his Parkinson’s as it had slowed him down the last two years. Without it he probably would’ve lived a few more years but who really knows. I know death is a part of life. No one should want to live forever. I sure don’t because bodies eventually give out. While I wish he was still alive to read my book I haven’t finished, he knew how I felt about him. I made sure he knew before he died, meaning I told him one more time how much he meant to me, and for that I’m grateful. If I hadn’t gone home, I would’ve kicked myself for not doing this years later. About five years ago, my mom asked if I wanted to be there when either one died. I told her I didn’t want to talk it then. None of us thought his death would happen like this. It was so quick and sudden. We didn’t dictate how he would leave. For everything going on in my life right now and slowly trying to get back on track with my personal and professional life, a part of me is looking forward to my future because that is the right thing to do.