I likely won't talk about it much, but I thought it might explain some of my distraction recently. He had been ill for a long time, though it didn't truly get awful until the last six months. By now, I am relieved that he is in a better place, and that my mother has survived being his primary caretaker, a grueling and difficult job. My father wasn't always the dad I wished he was, and I certainly wasn't always the son he wished I was, but relationship isn't about perfection. It's about trying right up to the end.
This is a poem I wrote when I first learned my dad was ill, and was trying to process the inevitable fact of his mortality.
in my backyard
holds twisted rope and wood,
reminder of a childhood fort
our staunchest friend
though often pirate foe,
built us a house for all our dreams -
hand over hand
up to the very top,
surveyed our vast domain with pride
and spread our wings,
explored the seven seas,
came back but rarely, in a rush,
we got the news,
returned from whence we’d gone,
held hands, looked up and thought of him
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