This next shot is also a great portrait of the dad I knew and loved.
While we shed many tears in that sterile, disturbing and uncomfortable environment, I have to admit our 24 hours spent together in the hospital as a family (parents, children, grandchildren and friends), was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.
We may have done a lot of crying but I'd like to think we shared stories and laughed even more. Dad rallied for a while about 12 hours before his final rest. He became chatty (for Dad) and that comforted us, knowing he wasn't in pain. I hope he enjoyed the bantering, chiding and silliness going on around him as much as we loved reminiscing and being in each others' presence - in other words, celebrating family.
His passing was very fitting for a quiet man of few words. His breaths became more and more shallow, his face peaceful and he left this world just as quietly as he moved about in it. Quiet, modest and a loved man.