Dear Mom and Dad,

I never thought I’d live outlive you. When I had cancer and was given 18 months to live, I’d joke, “Why are you always so healthy, Dad? Why’d you give me all these bad genes?”

You were healthy, before this all happened. That’s what’s putting me in a little anger and shock. Yes, you were 91. But you’d never really fallen before. And then when mom fell two weeks later, we put her into rehab, and she got COVID from her roommate in there. That’s what angers me. She shouldn’t have passed, period.

At least I got to see you the last 10 days of your life, Mom. I never got closure with you, Dad. That’s what kills me.

You were in that room with the white walls and not able to even open the door. I could only visit three times. Still, I talked with you every day. No one thought you were going to pass, but the day you did, I could tell by the tone of your voice when you said, “I need to see you, Jody.” When they shifted you from the rehab center to the hospital where you were on life support, they let us in to see you. Your feet were white as a sheet. I just hugged you and kissed you. They said you could hear us, and I did see a tear in your eye. But you were dead. Gosh, I wish I could have seen you before all of this.

What really made you go is what I’d like to know. Even though you didn’t have COVID, I think you died because of that – with people not able to see you, I think you gave up. You didn’t want that white wall.

I’ve been thinking about the times Mom used to take the grandkids to Washington, D.C., and the Art Museum in Philly when they were young. And remember when she put them on a roller coaster? I have so many good memories thinking of my children with you, Mom. And when you and Dad would bring us to Thanksgiving at Aronimink Golf Club. That was nice. 

You were good parents. Period. Dad, we connected like no other. My husband used to always get angry at me — “Why do you call your dad your best friend?” Well, you were. We’d laugh together all the time — till we couldn’t speak, so much that my eyes would well up. I miss that in my life.

We used to go to the Giant in Radnor. You drove me crazy in there! Everyone knew you. They’d be behind the butcher counter: “Joe! Joe!”

“Dad, aren’t we just picking up food and Band-Aids for Mom?” I said.

You turned around to the cash register lady: “This is my daughter, Jody.”

I couldn’t believe all these people knew you. But they loved you. That was my dad.

I’ll be honest: It’s really hard when you lose your best friend. I miss you both so much.