Daddy could be a real curmudgeon.
He and Mummy were the exact opposite when it came to their social acumen. Mummy was and continues to be a social butterfly, making friends wherever she goes (I'd like to think I've inherited this quality).
But Daddy didn't make friends very easily.
When he was younger, his focus was mainly on family and work, and he had little time for friends. There were more than a few times where he came into conflict with Mummy over some of her friends, and this definitely created tension between them.
But after his stroke, his stance softened. He still could be a curmudgeon, but he definitely opened himself up more to others (relatively-speaking). When I think about it, he seemed to have made and kept more friends in the last 10 or so years of his life than he had in all the previous years when he was healthy(er). I think he slowly began to realize the benefit of having friends present as an additional support system, though I wish he had realized this sooner. Regardless, it was these friends who would
periodically call him to check up on him
come by our house to sit and talk with him
come to the hospital to visit him.
And it was these friends, many more friends than I could've imagined, who came to pay their last respects to Daddy at his funeral.
Khalil Gibran is one of my favorite poets, and I've always loved this quote of his:
"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
To his friends - you refreshed him. No person in their last days wants to feel as if they won't be missed, and it was amazing to see all the love and support towards Daddy and our family in Daddy's last days. I want to thank all of his friends for looking past the difficult aspects of Daddy and offering your friendship to him, especially when he needed it most. I know you made his last days a little easier whether he said so or not.
So with that, thank you.