My father’s passing came as a complete shock to me because I didn’t know he was sick. Of course I should have known my dad was not well but every time I asked how he was doing he told me he was fine so I believed him because I wanted to, even though the signs all pointed to something being wrong. In the last year of his life he called and emailed me less than usual and I knew something was wrong but I didn’t think he was sick. I thought it would work itself out in time and we’d be fine.
I saw my father in person for the last time a few months before he passed away. I should have known something was wrong when he asked me to put aside some time to talk to him, we always found time to talk when I was home but he never asked me to specifically make time for it. I put the time aside and we for hours about serious stuff but not about his health. The signs were there, he was moving a step slower and he seemed distant but there were also signs that everything was going to be fine: he made fun of me and, he insisted on driving my rental car and finally, he just told me that everything was going to be alright. I believed my father because I could not comprehend a world in which he was not the strongest man I knew. I guess he couldn’t imagine a world in which I didn’t believe that either because when he was sick he didn’t tell me.
It makes no sense to dwell on this now that he’s gone but I’m kicking myself for not realizing what was going on until it was too late. This feeling will pass. Years from now when I think of my father I won’t think of the things he didn’t say, I’ll just remember the things he did say: Like the time he saw me on TV and thought I looked kind of heavy. When I tried to attribute this to the camera he said: “They say the camera adds 10 pounds. So what did they have…5 cameras on you?”