Grace, and all who’ve lost their parents, hugs to you. Mom and Dad have both passed. Dad in ‘08 and Mom in ‘12.
They both lived their lives with gusto.
A little example.
Mardi Gras is in my genetic makeup. My family was deeply involved in organizations and the festivities from before I was even born.
Dad was in a particular Mardi Gras organization for over 40 years. I was inducted into that same club in ‘05, the last of his five sons to join. For the last three years of his life, he was in a wheelchair. Each of those years, my brothers and I would place his wheelchair on the Mardi Gras float, carry him up, and ride alongside him. It’s hard to describe the shear excitement of doing this to someone who isn’t familiar, but let’s just say it’s one of the most fun things I have ever done, and continue to do. (And, yes, much alcohol is involved).
Mom was also in failing health towards the end, and had never seen her five sons ride (they separated and divorced around 2000) mainly because of her health and because she had moved away from our hometown. But in 2011, I asked our only sister to get my mother and drive her over, so she could see the five of us, decked out in our costumes and parading on the float. I truly believe this was probably one of her fondest memories.
That’s all we have left, our memories. And remembering the good times, them both doing what they loved, keeps them with us.