My dad passed away from lung cancer on Friday morning, not long after his 70th birthday. He had quit smoking about 30 years earlier, so the cancer's cause is somewhat mysterious.
He was born and grew up under very difficult circumstances. The type of guy to always pull for the underdog, and believed in try to do the best with the hand you're dealt.
I think my D made us closer in some ways. When I was a kid, he was very involved, and took it upon himself to keep track of my testing, shots, etc. Neither of us were ever good at talking on the phone. So, as an adult, diabetes gave us a subject we could discuss, other than sports.
Despite never making much over minimum wage his entire life, he donated to the JDRF every year. I never had the heart to tell him it was a scam. When I described how I finally figured out how to control my D effectively, it brought him a great deal of comfort, although he was dying, himself.