Today is rainy, chilly and dreary, just like three years ago when I received the dreaded phone call that my father had died.
Everything else is so much different.
Little did I know at the time that I had taken the first of many significant dips on the roller coaster of life. Mom, always the picture of health, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer just seven months after my father’s death. I quit my job to take care of her for the next six months. It would be another year before I secured any regular work.
I discovered that freelancing is best approached when you have time to plan and build clients, not for a sudden source of steady income. I learned that being a really good employee doesn’t get you very far in this job market.
And perhaps most importantly, I immersed myself in the world of Alzheimer’s activism, and learned so much from the stories I read.
So I am definitely a different person than the one who answered that phone in the middle of the newsroom on December 20, 2011. I hope I’m a bit wiser, and a lot more compassionate.
Tonight I will light a candle, toast Dad’s spirit with a glass of Irish whiskey and remember his wonderful singing voice, realizing that one can smile and mourn at the same time.