My father loved to eat.
was a brilliant man
working to solve some of societies
most intractable problems.
of the things that made him most happy was a simple hamburger.
And one of the cruelest things about
his disease is that for
the last four months of his life he couldn't eat anything.
And for some
reason that no one
really understood, the few things he could drink tasted terrible.
My dad did not complain. Instead he
asked us for a
play-by-play of what we were eating.
As you can imagine, this drove us a little crazy, but he
able to get some small pleasure from our experience.
But then about three weeks ago, when
it was clear that he
did not have a whole lot of time left, he went into home hospice.
They changed his
medications and he
felt, for the moment, a little bit better.
And, at that point, the most amazing thing happened, his
taste buds came back.
his first glass of water.
a sip, and he didn't know what was coming, but it tasted good.
This huge smile came
across his face
and he was happy.
falling apart around him, and all he knew was that he was drinking the
glass of water he had ever had..
And for those last few weeks, he had water, he had
and even a little bit of hot chocolate.
And each time he had a drink, it was bliss.
And just as he focused on the water,
not the pain, he spent
his last year and a half focusing on his life, not his loss.
More than anyone I know,
my dad deserved
20 more years.
and, most importantly, marriage. But he didnÕt worry about
this. Over and over
he said to us "I've had a good life, and it's OK".
My dad died too soon but he had lived the life he wanted
live and he died content.
best thing we can do, is learn one more lesson from Professor Richman
through our sadness and loss, revel in the bliss of the 72 years that