One year after my Dad's death, I was flying back home, out of the first COVID-19 hot zone in the Northwestern US, listening to people cough, feeling the tension in the air.

It was the same flight I caught rushing home, after cutting our vacation short, after he said not to worry: there was plenty of time, and I should enjoy the snow. The same flight where, well before dawn, Mom said to hurry home, things had taken a turn for the worse. The same flight where, on landing in Denver, I found out there wasn't plenty of time.

We were too late. He died while we were in the air.

Today he would have been 92.

The last voicemail I have from him, he was trying to help Z with her ailing Mom, offering advice from a lifetime of medical experience, researching the best approaches to take.

And in the last few months, as we've all gone through this slow-moving wave of death, sickness and horror, he would have wanted to help. He would have found a way.

He was stubborn that way.

He was stupid that way.

He was selfless that way.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We all miss you.