In August, my father, with whom I was very close, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Towards the end of his life, he’d lost the ability to eat, read and socialize -- the things he loved most in life. To see him in this condition was heartbreaking, yet, the weeks leading up to his death were oddly inspiring. The disease had taken his body, but I knew his legacy would carry on.
During the days I sat by his bedside, my three sisters would visit and we shared poignant, funny and sad moments from our childhood. Did we ever acknowledge his parenting skills or thank him for investing time in our future? No way! At least not then. As I watched the disease take his mind and body, I reflected on how much my life choices were shaped by the time he spent teaching us how to live.
My dad taught us about values. He didn’t care about keeping up with the Joneses, societal norms, or embarrassing us in the grocery store. He toted vitamins in his “Man...