The long good-bye with a dying father
|His first visit was in June. We walked to the mall, but it was closed due to COVID-19. We walked around the lake to the grocery store, then he decided he wanted a pizza. So we walked around the lake back home and ordered a pizza.
His second visit was in July. He'd aged a decade and looked the 70 he was. We walked to the willow tree and he hoped its energy would heal him. We ate lasagne and pizza. We ate fruit and cheese. We ate a cherry blossom for dessert and he said he was glad to have a small sweet. We played with a toy truck and a toy crane that, although they're really neat toys, I'll probably never use again.
His third visit was in August. He'd wanted me to buy a couch in case he crashed here. I bought the couch for me and changed the sheets so he could crash on a clean bed. We ordered sushi but he didn't eat any. He ate two peaches and a chocolate mint wafer. The offered cherry blossom was too big a sweet to eat. We wrote his will.
All three visits we caught up on work and life, dreams and plans. We talked about the loves of our lives, and we talked about our cats. In July, he hoped for a full recovery. In August, he drove here on morphine with his left leg swollen. He gave me his collection of textile art he made.
His fourth visit was in September. A friend drove him here. He looked 90. Both legs were bandaged against the swelling. He ate a strawberry, four grapes and a piece of cheese. He drank apple juice. He gave me the wood furniture he made.
“There's no time left for catching up,” he said.
The silence said it all.
“I have good memories of us,” I said. I cried.
“So do I,” he said. He cried.
Life doesn't prepare us for death. Life shows us sick people recover. My dad isn't going to recover from cancer. He's dying now.
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Author's Note ▼