‘My father passed away two years ago this Sunday. When I became an adult, my dad and I became best friends with each other. I would bet he read ten thousand books and I’m always going to miss being able to access that massive library that was his brain and to be able to share ideas with him. I remember conversations we had about history or science or whatever and having those really deep discussions that brought us closer together over the last two years of his life. I think, when a child is a minor, a parent needs to adopt an authoritative role. But, when the child becomes an adult, becoming friends with your parents is the next level. My dad and I were able to come together as two men and to discuss ideas and to become friends. He passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was homeless but he still had a job. He collapsed at work on Christmas Eve and he got rushed to the hospital. The doctors said it had developed enough to where he should have already passed away but they were able to give him another nine months of life. When he was diagnosed with cancer, my mom and I stepped in. She let him live with her and helped to take care of him and to administer his medications. I helped by making sure there was food in the house and driving him where he needed to go. It really helped us band together as a family to make sure he was surrounded by his loved ones. My dad wasn’t the kind of man who wanted anyone’s help but, with pancreatic cancer, he realized that he needed help and it was interesting to watch a very stubborn part of him slip away and to become willing to accept help. It was an entirely new side of him that came with the experience. There was a real beauty in that. He could have gone the way of being incredibly angry and bitter but he chose the way of appreciating that he was surrounded by loved ones and allowed them into his heart and his mind to help him out.’

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