Our wonderful daddy passed away quietly at 8:30 this morning. It was peaceful and painless and finally he is free of suffering. We will forever miss this man who was larger than life to so many of us, but we are thankful for no more pain, no more needles, no more wheelchairs and bedpans and hospitals. We aren’t having a service because we feel this week has been more of a service than anything else. Everyone who loved him got to be there, and got to tell him while he was living how much he meant to them. We said all the things we would have said in a eulogy, and more. Dad wouldn’t have wanted any fuss over him anyway. He was a simple man with a brilliant mind and a country boy’s love of the outdoors. He was an expert marksman and taught all of us kids to shoot, and he loved to fish. This past awful week, there were times when he told us he was fishing “at the bridge below the creek” and we were relieved that his mind was in a happy place for that span of time. We are glad we were all there for him through this last torturous leg of his journey, and it has forever altered our views of death and dying and the hospice movement. That will be a topic for later ramblings. For now, I just need time to sleep, and cry, and heal.