January 2020:

The call came in at 5:40 or so. I was awakened by the earlier call telling me it was time. “Honey, he’s gone,” was all that was said and all that was needing to be said. I finished making my coffee and went outside in the still dark of the morning – lights from the homes across the meadow lit, grey clouds beginning to show their third dimension as light emanated from somewhere above and beyond.

“He’s gone.” It was easy wasn’t it? Did it have to be so hard? All these years of waiting and wondering; all these years of yearning for this moment in my moments of pain and disbelief and longing for something other than what you were capable of being.

The moment arrived and I sighed. Relief is what I felt. Relief is what I feel. Gratefulness is what I felt. Gratefulness is what I feel. You are the luckiest man I have ever known and likely will ever know: No one died, people knew you could make it and they worked to help you. The women who loved you and their families showed you kindness.

Sometimes you did too & sometimes you really stepped up and helped in ways that no one else could. I know now that you couldn’t be the father I wanted. I know now that you could be the father I needed – sometimes – in your own scattershot sort of way. In the grey of that morning I celebrated you, alone, with my coffee in hand and grey clouds and lights. I looked down at the dewey grass at my feet and said a simple prayer of thanks. Look in the mirror and love what you see; never forget how you came to understand; never forget how to have compassion; always be grateful for the lessons you were taught. Thank you, dad. Thank you.

My father died, December 19, 2020.

Update January 15, 2021