wizard’s grandfather turns 95 next wednesday. wizard’s grandfather is dying. we’re all dying, and some of us are dying sooner. he has been in the hospital for eight days because he hasn’t been able to eat for several weeks. not eating has progressed to an inability to swallow, and yesterday he declined an eating tube. he is now receiving hospice care and waiting for his children to arrive from across the country to say goodbye.
i regularly receive messages from the universe that my own 62-year-old father is dying soon. yesterday the bat-signal impression was that “soon” is “sooner” and i must say what i need to say pronto. i’ve already said it, but as a repeater, i need to say it again. i don’t want to call him. i don’t want to see him. which leaves writing a letter as my best option. i can type that letter here, but for reasons that choke me with a ledge of uncried tears in my throat, i can’t write the three sentences by hand, address an envelope, and put it in the mail…not yet.
i’ll write it here. for practice. because the hard stuff in life becomes easier with practice.
i love you. i forgive you. thank you for teaching me to dance.
this isn’t the first time i’ve sent him that letter, nor the first time in ten hours that i’ve practiced typing it. but it is the first time i’ve written those words without crying. i’m mentally and emotionally preparing to write it on paper. it is the intimacy of pen to paper i avoid, knowing that the paper i write upon, fold, and tuck into the envelope will be touched, opened, unfolded, and held by his hands. his big hard-hitting hands. the hands that are old and dying now.
i don’t know what you need to say or to whom, but whatever it is, do it sooner. please.