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Thursday, July 29, 2010

My father had a heart-attack while undergoing back surgery in February, 2002. As soon as he recovered enough from that operation, he was determined to have surgery on his heart again--he had undergone a bypass operation years before--in hopes of extending his life again. I knew in my own heart that he would not survive this operation, and begged him not to, but he had made up his mind. Shortly before undergoing the procedure, my father proudly remarked: "I have been a risk-taker all my life." It was settled, and I think these may have been his last words to me.

Sure enough, the day after my father was released from the hospital during the Memorial Day weekend, 2002, he died as the nurse who came to the house was examining him. He simply fell back into the recliner he had been sitting in when the nurse arrived. It was congestive heart failure that killed my father.

My dad's death split me wide open. Never in all my life have I experienced such searing pain, and I have had many losses, including the death of my beloved grandmother.

But, my father died heroically--something I have only recently let in. Deep inside I realize: If my father could live and die with courage, I can too. At the very least, I have set this intention.

gathering storm
I select a rain cloud
to ride off on

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