Calls home

I call home every week. Let you know I’m ok. No, daddy, I haven’t been fishing. I’m working. I’m fine. I’m happy, I’m well. Two fishing or hunting stories I’ve heard a thousand times (but I listen like it’s the first time and ask questions when I recognize you’ve forgotten to tell a particular part..) Then it’s “I love you. Call you next week. Good bye”

Who am I gonna call when you’re gone? I need the # for heaven because I don’t know what I’m gonna do when the time comes to make that call and you won’t be answering.
You can’t be dying, this isn’t real. You’re the one that’s dying, why do I feel like I won’t make it either? It’s too soon, I’m not ready to say Good bye.
People I’ve care for have died, but dad, I can’t .. I can’t live with you gone.
I’m not gonna make it. I’m just not. You taught me to be strong, to be brave, to be tough, and never give up. So why, how call all the things you taught me to be.. I just unlearned them, forgot, it all disappeared the moment I heard you have zero chance at treatment?
What am I going to do when the call comes that it’s nearly time?
How did I manage to leave this last time?
Why did I leave at all? I should’ve stayed. Let the place go, the things in it, all of it..
I should’ve stayed.
I love you, daddy. Please, don’t go. Mom needs you, the kids need you.
I need you.
I know when I call home this week, you’ll ask me about my job, its fine….
I’ll mute my phone so you don’t hear me crying when I hear those fishing stories,
you won’t hear me totally losing my shit when you get to your favorite parts of the story.
Then I’ll unmute myself and without a trace of whimper in my voice, I’ll tell you “I love you, dad, call you next week. Good bye”
-your kid

One thought on “Calls home”

  1. Love doesn’t die, and in that sense I am of the opinion that when those we love depart from this mortal coil they are not dead. We keep their lives going through those stories that provide comfort and by keeping our internal conversations with them active.

    Perhaps the strength of their physical presence isn’t there in that they cannot create something new but the value of the life they lived, talking the talk and walking the walk has value that cannot be measured and is a part of your very core and the scaffolding of that which is you.

    I have not lost a parent in this sense so please excuse me if you feel I don’t understand, death challenges us all but that doesn’t mean it is all grim.

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