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I stayed two weeks straight with my day in the hospital. I took bird baths in the rest rooms, ate and drank out of the vending machines, and slept on cushions on the floor in the waiting room. For two weeks straight I..A few days there  'Hopper' and Jane, dear friends of my dad took care of me; eternally gratful... . sigh... then the day I came home... I got news he passed away. Every year I fight that horribly devastating depression of feeling "foolish" near April Fool's Day; wishing I had not left my father's side.
 He was a hard man. A good man. A man of conviction and dry bone integrity; an example I have at times failed to live up to and exemplify to others; namely my daughter Elizabeth R Garza. I feared, respected and loved my Dad dearly. Only much much later as an adult; nearing the last few years of his life did I actually "get to know" him did I realize what being "a man" cost. My Dad.... my dad, was priceless and I am sorrowfully sad that I miss him so very much. Yet years ago he told me "once", "Son, I'm very very proud of you..."
   If I could only be a small fraction of the Character my father projected to be and live his life I would be extremely honored. I wear his ring, and shave the SNOW image in the mirror; he's voice is ever in my mind. Never a day goes by without even the fleeting of thoughts go back to the lessons my father taught me nor the memories of his final hospital stay.

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