The last time I saw my father, I was twenty. Twenty and broken, just too proud to admit it. We were estranged for a few years before I learned he was admitted into the hospital and was not expected to survive the night. I rushed over with a hammering heart and determined not give way to my churning emotions. I had fooled myself into thinking I was prepared for the loss and the sight of my hero now a frail husk. Instead my breath caught in my throat when I finally saw him. He laid on the narrow bed as machines beeped beside him, connected to everything except a true lifeline. I wasn’t not only prepared for the sight of him helpless but I didn’t expect to feel the explosion of pain that I could do nothing about. When he turned and gave me a weak smile of welcome, I ran into his arms. He held me and stroked my hair gently as I tried to breathe through the sharpness of my pain. I wept for the years we had been apart, for the fiery addiction that was taking his life and for the hearts that had broken along the way. I lost my hero, he was 38 years old.
Through the veil of my grief, I came to realize that he was looking for peace that his life could not give him, for forgiveness that was getting harder to find and some mismash version of love that those around him always failed at giving him. It saddens me at times, but I know that my Heavenly Father is merciful and losing my father when I did and how I did, was part of His Divine plan. So I accept it and can now reflect on memories of my father with a joyful heart, knowing that we will see each other again one day.
Julia Manuel on Poem #4 ingridfalconi on Poem #4 Julia Manuel on Poem #4