your hold on me

It’s 12:34 a.m. and I tried to sleep.  I read until my eyes grew heavy and then I flicked off the light fully expecting to say my prayers and get a good night’s rest.  I made the usual requests to God, take care of my children, my husband, my loved ones; I made my pleas for forgiveness for my lapses in good judgement, my lack of patience, and asked that somehow God see fit to grant me a couple more moments to talk to my dad.  It’s always that last part that gets me, the part when I start talking to my father and asking him to watch over me.  I can feel him listening intently but I’m selfish, I still ask him for a sign that he can hear me.  Maybe it’s me that isn’t listening.  I picture his smile the last time I saw him, feel his arms around me hugging me tightly as if it were I that would slip away.  I think he knew or God knew that those moments would need to last me a lifetime and it was their gift to me in exchange for the pain they knew was headed my way.  There are so many moments that I miss him beyond what words can express but I feel I have to try.  I open my laptop and start typing what comes in my head – no forethought, no planning.  My father was such a talented writer that I have to believe somehow I am paying him tribute when I write .  Parents can give so many things to their children, some they will never use – some they never appreciate, but this – my way with words, how can I be anything but grateful when it brings me closer to him?  It’s what I have left, the only tools that remain useful.  The words tumble around inside my head waiting patiently for their release;  they wait to have meaning to someone else besides their owner.  One day they will do more than take up whitespace.

As I sit here typing, the hotel room air conditioner rattles and churns providing a shield from the noise inside my head and as the words flow from my fingertips I can feel the pain subsiding, quietly relinquishing some of its power.  Soon I will be able to sleep and my memories will retreat to their darkened corners until I call for them once more.

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