My mother died when I was 20. By the end of that first terrible year, I had a sunny southfacing bedroom utterly FULL of indoor plants. My father, like yours, was ill then died during a recent winter (two winters ago). The first winter afterward, our family drew together and we had long visits. This second winter, though, I am home alone recovering from foot surgery. But like you, I am finding solace--and death-defiance too--in green and growing things. They're a re-affirmation of life. I've already got early tomatoes going, fig trees (which leafed out in my dark cool basement) are in every sunny window now, and I have strawberry seeds germinating in little plastic bags all over the place.
Gardening is many things, but solace and the reminder of life's continuation are two important ones.
My condolences for your loss of both parents. I lost my mother 12 years ago after a long and horrible illness. There was nothing that could console me at that time, but now that I think of it, that may be when I pushed myself to garden more. I would not have made it this time without my trellis of beans. We are trying to have regular family get-togethers for my grand-mother's sake (my dad's 92 yr old mother), but we are growing closer as a family, too. We also discovered that we (my siblings) all like to garden in some small way, or at least can the foods we harvest and forage.
It sounds like you are becoming a prolific gardener, and I'm envious of what you have started for spring in your climate! Take care of yourself and hope the foot heals well.
Thank you for reading and sharing your story,