How to Give Up the Fight

Dad and I backpacking the Tetons. Our “Joy in the (brutal) journey trip.”

I asked my children about Papa and how he’s lived with his sickness and their quick responses were “He always fights!” , “He never gives up!”, “He never complains.”

And here we are, waiting for his body that has been through so much to finally give up. Dammit.

We are losing our rock, our example of meekness and tenderness, our brilliant dad to whom love and adventure came so naturally. We sing to him and tell him stories, promise him how we’ll care for our mom and each other and remind our minds of the beautiful moments we’ve shared.

But he’s still here, and we are here. The gravity that has so generously held him on this earth is weakening. His valiance is tangible in the air. Every thought and memory recalled of him admirable. His children are united together as dear friends in awe of their heritage. While leaving all this world has offered him, he is taking what matters most. 

The same forces we have petitioned and pleaded with to keep him here are now being summoned to take him home. His grandchildren will soon realize the giant hole in their lives and in their daily prayers when they will no longer sweetly plea “Please bless Papa to get better.” But those sweet children understand more than we do. Their Papa will get better when he’s free of the pain of this world. 

Dad on top of the Grand Teton, his 40th birthday celebration.

For years this great man conditioned his heart to climb mountains and connect with many souls. And when that good heart does finish its course I pray mine will have the peace and courage to continue on the trail.





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