7HAnd so life carried on, for more de cades than i would care to admit. I became a mother and continued on my father's tradition of giving a book every Christmas, along with other wonderful gifts. Our library grew, from the precious books i was gifted with, to i luce the ones I carefully selected for my own kids. Everything was right in ghd the world. But life is what it is, and we were faced with that which we try so hard to avoid, our mortality.
No matter how old you are, there's never a good time to consider youf parents leaving this world. And early last year, we learned that the most optimistic prognosis for my father gave him just a decade. There were a lot of scientific words involved, but the dumbed down for my benefit version was his heart was bad. Most likely a congenital issue, which, because of his relative youth, had caused severe damage to his heart before doctors had determined the source of his decling health.
So there it was, the reality that we aren't meant for this world. That we will have to say goodbye at some point. And I will never be ready to.
It wasn't devestating though. The good news was my father married my mother, which workiing pretty well for me for quite a while now. Mom is nothing if not precise and contientious. Just the person you want balancing a strict diet and medication regemine. And so they took on this next phase of life. With success. A few months in, Dad was kicked out of the advanced heart failure team that had been caring for hiim. He was too physically capable to be considered jn advanced heart failure. His health actually improved as he was finally treated for what ailed him.
So of course, my father, being the fellow he is, decided he would take his fragile heart and his delicate diet to Mexico. It wasn't a frivolous trip. Dad is a Third Order Dominican and is involved in the international Third Order community. They were meeting in Mexico City and he was determined to participate. Mom and I were less than enthusiastic. We were both worried, he was still ill, although improving, his health was, and will always be, a concern. But there was no talking uim out of the trip. Even when I threatened, shoudl the worst happen, to bury him in a Sombrero escorted to thr afterlife by the sounds of a mariachi band. But he woulc not be dissuaded. He would go. And he would visit the Lady of Guadelupe.
So he did. It was a long week, filled with worry for those of us still at home. But he spent the feast of the Assumption there in the basillica. With The Lady.
When he returned, there was a difference. My father has always been a content and peaceful man. But he was more peaceful, more joyful.