It was Father's Day and there was this unspoken understanding how important it was to celebrate together, so we gathered without question.  For him?  For us?  For all?  Yes…surely all.

His mind was leaking, it had been for years.  With each visit we could sense memory and thought siphoned into oblivion, and I think he could, too; there was a vacant desperation in his words.  

Before he ran out of time, he was still trying to parent us.

Around a sacred table, he did his best.  He clawed for coherence, the present, to be heard.  We listened, polite and attentive, trying to fill in the blanks.  Adult children who didn't really need him the way he longed to be needed, but who loved him enough to let him believe otherwise.

I knew that moment was important to him, and for once it wasn't about him, it was lesson and legacy.  He was trying to help us see in future's dark.

I wrote his words down, chicken scratch on paper now playing hide and seek.

Summer's heat was beginning to rise and I had on a red and white skirt that doesn't fit anymore.   

He's been gone 5 1/2 years and today would've been his 81st birthday.  

I wish I could still fit in that skirt.



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