I have reason to be thankful for many things, this week after Thanksgiving. I flew out to Vancouver Island to be with my family as my father was placed in a hospice, and I have seen some of the best of human nature this week.
I am thankful for the kindness of strangers, and volunteers... people who selflessly give of their time to make someone else's life just a little bit smoother. The hospice workers, always ready with a cup of tea and a kind word, ease some small sting. Dad is surrounded by family and friends, but I can imagine their worth to those who face this journey without such support.
Dad worked before his illness in this same hospital as a shift engineer. He touched many people through the years with his good nature, crazy humour and his willingness to work, and now all those chickens are coming home to roost. The nurses who he once helped look out for him, and even moved him to a private room yesterday. Kindnesses to others never go unanswered, whether in this world of the next.
I am grateful as well for that same sense of humour. It has not deserted him, and he is still funny and irreverant about everything, including his own death. With the constant laughter, we are by far the loudest room on the ward, and I bet we make everyone wonder what's going on. When he is so joyful and accepting of his choice, how can we who love him best do otherwise?