From the June 2011 magazine.

Bottom of the Ninth

Recovery from alcoholism brings this father and daughter closer after many years of difficulties

My father was my hero. Actually, he still is, even though he passed away in November of 2005. He was a man of great character and integrity and had an incredible sense of humor, which he maintained right up to the very end of his life. Shortly before he died, he was in the final stages of emphysema and struggling to breathe, my mother tried to comfort him. "Joe, we are so lucky," she whispered, referring to the 43 years of marriage they had shared. He just looked up, and without missing a beat, remarked "Yeah, if I could breathe, I'd be whistling."

That was my father: quick-witted and always with a smile on his face. He could make me laugh at the drop of a hat and our daily phone calls always consisted of lots of funny stories and lots of love.

-- Susan B.

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