Fathers Day 2020
By Arthur H. Gunther III
As my Dad lie dying in hospital and I on my way to visit his presence for the last time he could speak, not yet in the induced coma that would let him pass, already with the angels beside him, I thought, on that beautifully shaded sidewalk on a glorious spring day that he was no longer beside me. I needed to hold his hand.
It had been ages since I did that, and not much then, fathers and sons being what they were in the 1940s, ’50s. Yet I would hold his hand many times metaphorically after young childhood: When I was sick, for one of his many careers was as a licensed practical nurse; when I had a nightmare; when my mother chased me, a teen, about the house with a broom, and he offered understanding; when I was learning to drive; most of all when I had the momentary but great desire to be very young again, without much care and appropriately nurtured.
As we grew, the two of us, distinct personalities clashed, and the wall that can rise between father and son did so. It would take decades of having my own family and two sons better than I to realize my father was truly doing his best. It would take his death and the years since to understand and absorb the fullness of his well-met responsibility.
Oh, how I would hold his hand now.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org