Gifts from My Father

About eighteen months ago, my father learned he had a rare kidney disease that would progressively, inevitably so wreck the various organs of his body that one of them—heart, liver, lungs, brain, blood vessels, skin, the kidneys themselves—would fail, and he would die. Intellectually, he accepted the fact he was going to die. He did not rage against the dying of the light—rage is not his style—but neither did he offer to help reduce the wattage. He prepared for death in a way I found completely characteristic.

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