My dad died 30 years ago today at age 61, a lung cancer victim. The government provided him with three cigarettes in every C-ration while he fought in two of the bloodiest battles in WW2 as a nineteen year-old rifleman.
Of course he smoked the proffered cigarettes, and he continued to smoke when he came home from the war (tobacco is addictive). His wasting disease at the end, after he had stopped smoking years earlier, wasn't pretty and took him away painfully.
But I was fortunate, along with my mother and my brother, to be at his bedside in his house as he passed, holding him as he died. All I could think of to say at that awesome moment was, "God bless you, dad," as he went to sit at the right hand of the Father.
He was my hero, the most principled man I ever knew. I miss him always and think about him practically every day.