My father taught me many lessons growing up. He taught me the definition of hard work, by showing me an example of what that would look like. He taught me what faith meant, by attending church every week, but even more importantly, by living what the Bible taught him.
My father taught me what loyalty meant by never forsaking those who sought solace in his friendship, despite the circumstances. My father taught me honesty when he forced the truth out of me and my pain was not met with a punishment, but rather disappointment and sadness, and the desire to never feel make him or myself feel that way again.
My father taught me character. He rarely spoke ill of anyone he knew and taught me to try and do the same-no matter how hard that may be. My father showed me how to view the world as one people, to not judge or discriminate. The only thing that mattered to him was if you had a good heart and good intentions.
My father taught me how try and live the best life that has been laid out before me. My father showed me how to hurt without complaining, how to believe without reservation, how to love without boundaries, and how to form friendships regardless of differences.
My father taught me many, many lessons in his life, but I know he taught me some of the most important things I will ever learn, in how he died. My father died with grace. My father died with courage. My father died with honor. My father died surrounded by love. My father died knowing he lived his life to the fullest that was granted to him. My father died by giving gifts until his last moments. My father died comforted by those of us whom adored him, loved him, respected him, and hurt to see him go.
But, go he did. And, go he must. My father made those choices on his own terms. He gave me the gift of not being as scared to die. I believe that it will all be okay and one day he will come to greet me with the same love that I had when I was lucky enough to be there to help send him home.