For those that say you can't make friends on the Internet, I say fie on you.
Susan Palwick has become a very dear friend through her poignant struggles with her father's failing health and very real wrestles with faith in herself along the way.
Coping with the imminent death of a parent, especially the first one, and especially when they accept it far more peacefully than you do, is a terrible thing.
Fathers, especially, are supposed to be the strong, solid foundation that never buckles, never lets us down. Unfortunately, a life has a course to be run, bodies fail, and the next life beckons.
For some of us who strive to be there right up until the end, our parents chose to depart in the minutes and seconds when we slip out of the room for just one breath of fresh air before heading back to our vigils.
My heart and prayers go out to Susan, who misses her dad Alan terribly, and is beating herself up, thinking she could have done more.
There's not one among us who've been on that journey who haven't done the same thing.
Here's what I believe -- If there is room in Heaven for Old Crankypants (and I believe there is), then there is room for Alan, who didn't believe in God, but who acted in kindness and love throughout his life. We may give up on or not believe in God, but God never gives up on us or stops believing in us. We'll be judged by our hearts and our deeds, and that's enough for me.
Susan, I wish I could wrap my arms around you and take your hurt away. Only time and faith will do that. In the meantime, let me remind you of this:
Peace to you, my friend.