Today was a good day. My dad managed to get out of bed and lay on the couch. He spent hours awake, visiting with my mom, Rick, Grayson and myself. There were moments of confusion, but for the most part he was alert and himself. Some days the twinkle is gone from his eyes, but it was there today. Today was a good day.

I sat at the end of the couch and offered to rub his feet. My dad has never turned down a foot rub. We sat in silence, mostly because I was paying close attention to avoid the bed sores that have started to form on his heel and big toe. Then the question came, “Can I ask you something, Lou?” Now, normally, this is followed by a profound question that leads to an insightful conversation. However, moments earlier he had started with this question and then asked, “Do you think I should get a cat?” (We are very much DOG people!) So I had prepared myself for another silly question, but instead this conversation happened…
Derek: “Do you think I’ve done enough?”
Casey: “What do you mean?”
Derek: “With my life. Have I done enough?”
Casey: “Yeah, Dad, I’d say so.”
He nodded and closed his eyes.
Casey: “You’ve done enough for me.”

Hours later, this question is still haunting me. What is enough? How does one measure what is enough? Is enough different for each individual? I can only assume that this is a question commonly asked at the end of life. Were there places my dad had wished to travel to, but didn’t? Yes. Were there regrets that he had? Yes. Were there goals he left unmet? Yes. Does that mean he didn’t do enough? No. Not by any means. Not in my opinion.

I know my dad isn’t perfect. I know he’s made mistakes, just like we all have. I know he has regrets and things he wishes he had done differently. But he was always enough for me. When I reflect on my childhood, I don’t remember him traveling for work or missing a softball game. I remember the games he went to, the nights he was home. I remember the times we had together.

I’m pretty new at this parenting gig; 9 months doesn’t compare to the 38 years my dad has put in. But I do know that there’s nothing sweeter than my daughter’s smile, and her laugh is pure magic. I don’t always do everything right and I know I have lots more mistakes to make, but when I look at her, I know I’m enough. I am confident that my dad feels that way about each of his children also.

So dad, rest peacefully. You have done enough. You are enough. We love you just the way you are.