I came home this evening to a telephone message from a friend saying that a mutual friend's father passed away this afternoon. The mutual friend is from Toronto but has lived in the U.S. for a number of years with her husband and children. Her mother passed away many years ago, and only her ailing father and two siblings who have no connection to her or her father remained.
My friend was in Toronto for the past week because she'd been told that her dad wasn't doing too well. Thank G-d there'd been quite an improvement in his health and he was to be transfered next week from a hospital to a nursing home for convalescing. My friend was planning to return to the States with her family because of family and work obligations.
Now her father is niftar, but I think they will sit shiva in the States because of the family situation.
Yes, she is a good daughter who kept traveling here to check on her father, who was in and out of hospitals for the past few years. Yes, it took somewhat of a mental, emotional and physical toll on her each time she came and left. And yes, there will be a noticeable absence in her life hereonafter.
I do know that this friend has now inherited millions of dollars, and that all along her father has been providing her with funds for day school, funds for buying a large home, funds for traveling, etc.
But who really cares how many millions this friend is now worth. Why? Because 1) she has lost a parent, and 2) this friend has M.S., and has had it for over 6 years.
Perhaps the money will fund medications for her, will have her be able to be on the receiving end of every new M.S. drug trial out there. But this M.S. has slowly been robbing her of her fine quality of life--her strength, her concentration, her physical mobility, her comfort levels, her family life.
At the end, what is she left with? A few million... But when you're an "avel" or a sick person, the money certainly doesn't make you rich. You're truly a millionaire when you have your family by your side and good health in your back pocket. All the rest can wait...