To the child inside me, you and Mom were immortal. It took me a long time to truly understand that you were getting older, even though I could look in the mirror and easily see my own age.
Six days. That’s all it took for you to walk through the hospital doors with a smile…to end up in hospice at home to die, unable to speak, move, or open your eyes. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there with you and Mom the whole time. I think of you often. I worry about her often, now that she’s without you. It’s been almost a year since you passed away.
I used to wonder how I would handle the eventuality of death. The reality of that day could never compare. I was more sad and angry than I ever imagined that I’d be…but isn’t that the case that things are never as we imagine?
The time I was able to spend with you before you passed was the closest we had ever been. It’s something I cherish…something that I regret didn’t last longer. I think you knew for a long time that you were dying. Things we talked about in those last weeks now live in my soul, leaving their echo in my daily thoughts and deeds. I’m sorry about the things that used to divide us. I thought you never understood me. I guess the reality is that I didn’t understand you either.
Things were always complicated between us, even when I was a kid. Why did it take your illness and death for both of us to understand in silence, the love that lay beneath years of loud words and blame? I don’t have that chance to ask you…to discuss…to debate. Perhaps we were too much like each other than we both realized. In some ways that gives me some peace about your passing, because I see you when I look in the mirror and hear you in the voice of my son. Just maybe, in some ways, we can all be immortal.