Doodle doodle doodle doo doo doot! my father’s cell phone summoned him mid-sentence. I knew that the call took precedence over me, so I turned my attention to the passing scenery and he said hello to some voice that meant more than me. I hated that voice, whoever it was. My dad postpones heart-to-heart talks for a phone call; whatever pressing news that little apparatus contains is far more important. I was in the middle of a perpetual pity party when he hung up and said, “that was Eric. Man, they are struggling. You know, his wife Jane’s sister is dying of pancreatic cancer – it’s spread to her liver and her lungs. She only has months.” I looked at the floor and he continued: “I can’t imagine what they’re going through.” I turned to him. “Yes, you can,” I said, “your sister died of cancer, too.” I could only stare at him. Why did I say that? As if he needed reminding. Suddenly I wanted to know everything about it (I was little when it happened), but I didn’t say anything. He did: “It changes your entire life. It blows a hole in your future.” I wanted to say I was sorry, but even though I was, that had little relevance at that moment. We sat there. And I realized why we didn’t try to discuss our emotions. We really couldn’t. You see, it was the first time the phone hadn’t interrupted us. And we didn’t know what to do with ourselves.
My dad and I can’t have a normal conversation unless I pick a topic upon which he could advise me endlessly and laboriously, usually after he’s enjoyed a few.
This post was saved on my computer. I found it last week. Still like it just as much as I did in 2004.
Well here we are, Ben. Nine (I hope I counted it right) comments selected from a fleet of blogs. Reading and rereading so many of your words and laboring to find all the ways in which to say I love you and am proud of you (since paying for meals generally doesn’t work) has come to an end. My hope is that one will reach out and reassure you of your talent, life, and value; a narrative of truth, beauty, and goodness for which you undoubtedly know you are a part of. I cannot thank enough for sharing your life, support, strength, and sass for these years as I have faced the hardest transitions. You have had a colorful enough life that I may or may not be a small cloth in the tapestry, but I consider it a privilege to be there at all. I admire your writing skills, your thought process, and your complex delivery of dialog in every occasion. Thank you also for being my best man, in what was otherwise an uncontrollable parade of spilled puppies. Your presence and words were what got me through, and I will never forget that. Ultimately, you are precious to me and I wanted to thank you in a way that hopefully has meaning and brings some joy into what may be an everyday Friday…or whenever you read this. Anyways, take care of yourself, I hope to see you sometime soon.