“He just doesn’t want to talk, that’s all”, mom said.
I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dad in weeks,
especially after the diagnosis.
I lived far away and it wasn’t easy
to get to where he was,
but I knew something was wrong.
Against my “wife’s” insistence,
I took the trip, knowing full well what was
at the end of it, waiting for me,
but all the same, I took it.
When I got through that crypt of a door
and after the eternity of time
it took to get to his chair,
I saw him–and wept…
He was rail-thin; unshaven,
and almost unresponsive….
Mom cried too, “I just didn’t know what to say…”
She would offer;
and ” I didn’t want you to worry”…
I was the only child, you see
with a family falling apart on it’s own
and trying to hold it together
while knowing he was coming apart.
I bent down to him and whispered “Daddy?, Do you hear me”
He turned slowly in my direction, and smiled ever so gently…
and, in the fading light
of his eyes,
I finally realized that
they were fixed,
not on me,
but on another shore.