I got the call at Mom’s at quarter after seven that night; it was the hospital:
“Your father has passed away.”
I’m not sure what is worse, being told
or having to tell.
Cancer had been eating my father
for months, and now it was done.
He was not supposed to die so soon – there was so much more to do.
My mother walked around for months like half of her body had been ripped from her,
and I went numb, like the body will from too much pain.
Tonight, I walked my dog, and thought about the man
who taught me how to spell before any teacher had a chance, how to color (“You want to stay in between the lines; look at my arm, the color is all there”)
how to shoot baskets, and how to play blackjack before I got out of grade school.
This was a dad who built a well in the front yard (no water, but it was pretty), and a tree house in the back yard.
This was a dad who would sit with me at the kitchen table, and go over the names of all of the sports teams in each state, so that I knew there were New York Mets, Jets, and Nets, just for starters;
This was also a dad who would take me to the movies on Saturdays, who showed me the best way to wash dishes (I’m still working on that one, Dad), and who I learned so much about, after it was too late to talk to him about it all.
Since I can’t ask you about it all, Dad, there’s just this to say to you -
You were all right, Dad – you did all right by me.