We lived 1200 miles away and it was hard. Very hard. I hated knowing I wasn’t there to support him through chemo. I talked to my mom most days. And I knew he was getting through with a great attitude. But it wasn’t like being there. Not at all.
When I came east to see him, I was truly surprised by how rough it was on him. He is the toughest guy I know. Not kidding. But even he was getting beaten down.
Not that he’d let on.
So on one of the visits, he gave me some cash. He asked that I buy something to remember him by. In case.
He said he’d have preferred to have gotten me something but he didn’t have the energy.
So when I saw these three delicate bands – complete with engraving and lovely details – I bought them. With the cash. And I wore them on my right hand as a reminder.
My dad recovered fully. I know! How lucky were we? But since then, he’s had another run-in with cancer and triple bypass surgery. But he’s doing great and is living life with a great attitude.
I don’t wear these rings every day anymore. But I do wear them. And when I do, I take a deep breath and feel great appreciation for having my father around.
We’ve lived close by since 1999. August. And I’m thankful for the time I get to spend with my parents. And my in-laws. And the rest of my family. Because you know what? Nothing matters more.
So today, when I put on the set of rings, I realized how grateful I am. Because you know what? It’s so easy to forget. So easy to get caught up in the daily grind. So easy to get busy. So easy to lose track.
But nothing matters more to me than my family.
I couldn’t be more thrilled that I didn’t need those rings to remember my father by for all these years because I get to see him all the time. And he’s healthy. But they’ll always be a reminder of how fragile life is.