He would have been 80 this year if he had lived, but sadly he didn’t. He left us four years ago. He died of complications from Parkinson’s and dementia. It would be in the next year that I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. We don't know if there is a genetic link or it was just an amazing coincidence. I jokingly like to say that my father gave me one last gift; "the gift that keeps on giving.”
Although that sounds snarky, the reality is that getting Parkinson’s really ended up truly being a gift in some ways. It forced me to turn my head away from blind ambition and other things, and to focus on what is most important to me: my faith, my friends and family, my art and writing, and my community and the world. I think I’m a better man than I was three years ago.