Daniel's dad has always had an interesting relationship with the rest of the family, at least from my perspective as someone coming into the family from a different culture and family background. His dad was firmly in the role as provider when Daniel was growing up and Daniel's mom and grandmother did the parenting type stuff. Culturally and for the era that Daniel grew up in, this was pretty standard. I've been with Daniel for about eleven and a half years and have had only a handful of conversations with his dad, as his dad's English isn't the best and I am terrible at small talk with anyone. The relationships in the family revolve more around Daniel's mom and it always seemed sort of like Daniel's dad just came along for the ride.
When his dad got sick, it hit Daniel hard. He wanted to change their relationship as much as he could in the time that was left. He went up on Father's Day to spend time with his dad and has gone up most weekends and lots of other days since. But there have always been things to do and to decide. Shopping to get done for his mom. Medications to sort, doctors' appointments to get to. There hasn't been time to just sit and talk.
Until now. Daniel's found himself in the role of primary caretaker for his dad. He is the one making sure the visitors don't get too overwhelming and that the pain isn't too much and that his dad isn't being constantly pestered with questions and is just allowed to be and to rest.
I was on Skype with Daniel most of the night last night, because I have spent the night in hospitals before and I know there is no night as long as one spent in a hospital. Even so, I didn't know the details of the night until he called this morning. I am so glad he stayed. He spent last night praying with his dad and holding him and playing Amazing Grace on the CD player. Daniel's been able to tell his dad that he loves him and that we love him and that he will be missed and that we look forward to seeing him again in Heaven. I'm glad Daniel has those memories now.
This picture makes me weep every time I've looked at it since Daniel took it and sent it to me.