As I approach the anniversary of my father's passing, I thought my last memory of him would help people during COVID019.
I was about 9 years old and I went into his room to say goodbye before heading back home to my mother in Newfoundland.
I leaned in and gave him a kiss goodbye. I walked out of the room and out to the car and was about to get in when my uncle told me to
look up at the window (my father’s room faced the driveway). He was in bed as at this point his MS was getting the better of him. Through the small window, I saw my father. He had managed to pull himself up to wave goodbye and he was smiling – a smile that I hold dear to this day as a reminder that our lives are truly gifts.
His illness taught me that our true meaning in life is the lasting effect we leave on others. What did he leave me with? The belief that I could do anything, that I too could pull myself up to any window to see the future as he did. And what he saw that day was his child, his future.
Although my father lost his battle with progressive MS, I hold his memory close and I am grateful for this memory. You see despite his pain at the time, despite being on a path he knew he could not turn back on he managed to find strength to show those he loved that he loved them. His smile, this small moment is one that has given me strength through so much of my life. He was able to find it even when his days were difficult. So as you face difficult days now try to smile for others, try to find the strength to pull yourself up to a window to see a brilliant future ahead of you. This will end and better days will return. Smile today for yourself and for others- it may make all the difference.
By Melinda Cochrane