“He died”, my mother said over the phone. I had been waiting for the call for ten years. Feared it all my life. My father was finally allowed to rest. Sleep. Suffer no more. I closed my eyes and asked my mother if she was ok. I still don’t remember what she said. Later that afternoon we drove down to the hospital. I have no idea how I got there, but I made it somehow. We asked for my father and they showed us into a room. And there he was in his bed. His hands grasping a small flower. Finally still. A candle on a bedside table. All was quiet.
“Oh, dear”, my mother said quietly.
I held her. For the first time in years he didn’t look like he was in pain. The lines on his face were smoother and you saw signs of the man he once was. Before the cancer.
It was finally over.
And for some reason the divide between us was gone. All the things never said, all the things I wished he’d done didn’t seem important. All the bitterness of having a father who never openly said he loved me. Gone. No anger. No resentment over the fact that he never ever said I made him proud. No more questioning why. No more accusations.
And a silent promise not to hate.
You did what you could.
I still don’t understand why you couldn’t reach out to me, but never mind.
It’s ok, dad.
I’m not angry.
I miss you and wish you could see me now.
I think you’d like the man I’ve become.
Share this story