On June 16th, 2002, Father's Day that year, my dad passed away at exactly 4:45 PM. This is the 8th year that he's been gone, and I can't say that things have gotten all that much easier without him around. Last year was the first time I'd ever written about it on this blog; this is the second time.

Funny thing about this thing we sometimes call "death". None of us will beat it, and for most of us, it's the most depressing thing we can think of that we have to go through as it pertains to someone else. Most of us are scared to think of our own mortality, and that makes sense because we have no idea whether there's anything more. Some go to religion, while some like myself try to hide from the inevitable, either doing things to try to delay it or deciding to just go out and have fun, live life, and deal with it when the time comes.

Two weeks ago my next door neighbor passed away. She was 83, in fairly good health, but she needed to go for a surgery to have something done on her heart. Hours later, while in recovery, she had a heart attack and that was that. I thought about it for a short while after I heard about it, because the day before she was in front of her house sweeping leaves out of the driveway, as if that was the only care she had in the world.

On Sunday I went to a fund raiser for a friend of mine who was battling cancer; on Monday she passed away. That hardly seems fair, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

I also look around my neighborhood. The couple across the street are both in their 80's now, and he's had to resort to a riding lawn mower, which he loves, and having someone else shovel his driveway in the winter, which he hates. Next door to them is a 91 year old neighbor who has most of her yard work done by someone else and of course has the snow removed by someone as well. Yet yesterday I saw her sitting in her walker with wheels, then every once in awhile get up and plant something, and push herself back into her walker, which has a seat, and sit a bit. Every once in awhile I see her walking to the grocery store, and she'll stop and rest when she needs to; for me that's a 7-minute walk, so I can't imagine how long it is for her.

There are other elderly neighbors around me. All of them are self sufficient in their own way until something happens. One has finally moved to a nursing home, but everyone else is still kicking around, doing what they feel they need to do. In the long run, I guess that's the way we live our lives and celebrate those who are no longer with us; we continue to do what we need to do.

And I needed to acknowledge the 8th year of my dad not being here. It does get easier, but it never goes away. Some of you may have never seen the tribute to my dad on my main business page; if you're so inclined, you can view it here.