Mark — what a gift you have given to many in this essay. I heard Father Greg Boyle (speaking at the Notre Dame graduation last month) say that “we should stand in awe at what the poor have to carry than stand in judgment for how they carry it.” He reminded us that God stands inside the circle of compassion — and to step outside of it is to step outside of God. I can see how you chose to stay in that circle of compassion — surrounded by God’s presence — in loving your dad. I see the awe and respect you had for his load of shame. You chose mercy over judgment. You set a captive free.
And wow. What an incalculable treasure to vacation with your dad so close to his passing. Interestingly, my dad also died 20 years ago, on Good Friday 2017. I am challenged by your story as I know many others will be. You’re wrong about the pay however… you just wait and see. Blessings.