I dedicated this to my father after his passing in 2008. Having Father's Day to one and all.
Growing up people used to say I had my father's eyes. Every day as time slowly makes its mark on my face, I see them more and more.
A couple of weeks ago, our eyes met for the last time, when he looked over to see that I arrived at his bedside just hours before his cancer would win the battle. He asked if I had made it to the hospital, and when my mother pointed me out, he looked over with surprise and recognition. He was waiting for me, and now that I was there, he knew it was time for him to go.
I held his hand for a couple of hours. He used it to pull himself to a more comfortable position. When he lost his strength, he used my hand to scratch his nose; and kept trying to remove some invisible patch over that was obscuring his vision.
Even though he was well past talking, I assured him that everything would be alright, and that it was safe for him to go. But he waited... waited for us to leave for the night. I kissed my father's eyes... knowing that 'goodnight' was really a 'goodbye'.
He left just minutes after we did.
He was only diagnosed the week before, and the swiftness was as he wanted it. It happened too fast to replace anyone's memories of the good times. In a way that makes us all lucky.
And I'm the luckiest one... for every time I look in a mirror, I can see a reminder of all that he gave me.
But I hope he gave me something even more important. While I may have my father's eyes, I really hope I have my father's heart.
Dedicated to Nathan Rosen (1925-2008)