We sat together,
He and I,
At the dock
Where he once did school.
I did not find him there,
I was led to him.
I was forced to walk down a path
Of heavy weighted breakdowns and realizations
After being called to action by the black bird by the reservoir.
He sang to me with urgent tone it was time to go home,
His melody so haunting I could not ignore any more.
I traveled through winding hills of nostalgia,
Bathed in waters of heart felt turquoise harmony,
Settled my soul to the sunrise of Nechako river,
Laid down to rest on the barn loft nestled in the hills,
Finding my final destination, lake side, in the Forests of the world.
I – Blue jean shorts, olive green hoody, blonde hair tied in a side braid.
Young heart, weathered soul.
He- Muted yellow and beige plaid button up t shirt, loose dark beige kahki shorts. Silver hair, but smooth skin.
Father’s wisdom, gone too soon.
We sit, on the edge of the dock.
Both our barefeet dangle off.
Shoes and socks tucked behind us,
He has hiking boots, sturdy.
I have street shoes, trendy.
I’m not sure how long we sit there in silence.
H- It’s good to see you.
I do not respond, ignoring coldly.
H- It’s peaceful here, isn’t it?
H- It’s really good to see you.
I want to break apart. I have needed him for so long. But now that he is here, all I feel is anger. Abandonment. My jaw clenching.
H- I didn’t mean to leave.
Frosty silence. I am in shattered pain but I wish him not to see my vulnerability. It was so damn hard. But I got by. We got by. Without him.
H- I know you won’t believe me when I tell you, but I’ve been here beside you. Every single day.
My mind races. It goes to every milestone, every crisis. He was not there. But I did it. Without him. I feel such anger erupting within. I keep focus up-ahead. A family of ducks swimming in the distance. Playful and happy. But I am not.
H- I know about the motorbike.
I try to stifle laughter, remaining pokerface. I knew he would be livid if he found out and imagined this conversation a hundred times. Now here we are..
H- I’m not going to lecture you-
My voice cracks from emotion, but with bold force I continue-
I- You lost that right to have any say in my life the day you left.
H- Dammit Ker, listen to what I have to say. I’m not going to lecture you. You’re a smart kid, you know I am not happy about it. All I ask is that you go speed limit.
I was ready to push back at his words, but she takes a shot at my achilles heel- Mom.
H- Please go speed limit. Please. Do this for your Mom. If anything happened to you…
He doesn’t need to continue, I know.
I nod, in agreement. My voice unable to speak with emotion. I cannot imagine her enduring another tragedy.
Both our attention go to her. Emotion fills both of us.
I love her so much. So does he.
I regain fierce emotionless poker face.
I- Yeah. I’ll try.
He shakes his head, smiling with gritted teeth. He knows to drop it.
H- You look like her. I see a bit of myself in you.. your eyes, your nose.. the way you analyze every detail.. but you are so much like your mother.
H- I will never forget the day I met her. I was just a kid in my twenties, a basist in a band. Your mom was the most beautiful woman I ever met. A farmers daughter, with so much warmth and love to give. I’ve never experienced that until I met her.
H- We were just kids. Now our kids are adults.
I feel my whole heart drop out of my chest.
I feel like I could drown here on land, on the dock.
I think of his son, the cancer, the infection, the blood shortage.. holding his hand as machines were withdrawn, and he took his last breaths.
I- Dad.. Jamie didn’t –
He- I know. I was with you guys, I was in the room. You helped him transition out of the physical realm, and I was there to help him transition to his next manifestation.
H- He’s happy. He was ready. He has peace now.
Tears flood. I feel so much anger, I want to scream but it’s paralyzed in my throat. I feel a wave of empathy- it must have been so hard to be him – watching all of this – watching his son suffer like he suffered. His son, passing on, too young, so full of potential. So broken.
I feel a wave of calm. An inquiry of truth. After the weight of his abandonment, he owes that to me, I feel. He wasn’t there when I needed him, but he can give me the truth.
I- Dad.. you were 44. Jamie was 35. Do I have it too?
He looks at me with tears and a warm smile. His baby girl, now an adult, but still full of childlike fears and questions.
H- I wish I could tell you the answer you want Ker. I do. Time is a strange concept. Past/ present/ future – it is all one – like a big bang of fireworks. And like fireworks, you have to reveal at the perfection of it all.
H- A weird thing happens when you die. You become part of the fireworks. You experience it all simultaneously. The past, the present, the future – all in one moment. We get to know all. But it is not for us to tell.
I sink. He can see my body language and tries to elaborate.
H- I don’t know how to explain it. Ker, I can’t tell you until you NEED to know. You’re really good at catching my messages. Stop second guessing yourself. You hit the bullseye, then pull the dart out walking in circles until you dizzy yourself out. When you get the shot, trust it. You think you need to know all the answers, but the truth is, you don’t. Part of the human experience is the beauty of the unknown. When you are in danger, when you need to know, I will get your attention.
I feel such a weight. Hopelessness.
I- So can you tell me anything?
I am deflated.
I need something.
H- Ker, I know you lost another person. I am so sorry. He was a good man, and he was very good to you. He was able to be there for you when I couldn’t. I was so grateful for how he took care of my little girl. He was very protective of you. I know you are broken inside. I know you feel that you feel like you will never have the courage to let your walls down again, you will do everything you can not to experience another deep loss. It is part of your karmic lessons in your human lifetime, and I hate that I had to leave you so you could experience the lessons you came down on this earth learn. But Ker, it’s about to get good.
H- You were at a cross roads. But you chose firm, a new path. It gets so good Ker. You get so happy. I know you are starting to experience bits of that happiness, but it only grows and expands. You will dip and you will experience immense loss again, you go through periods where you lose yourself, but you rebound faster each time. You runaway less. You find a place you want to stay, and you have a home filled with so much love.
H- You meet the love of your life Ker, and it’s so good.
H- He’s not like me Ker, he is calm and level, his temper is mild, almost nonexistent. But he loves you as much as I do.
H- He is a good man. Hardworking. Kind. Positive. Intelligent. He’s present and mindful. He has a big heart, like you. He knows he needs to take extra care of you because you don’t have Jamie or I. He has to take care of you for the three of us, he knows that. He knows you are scared and you over think everything. He is so confident in the connection you two share. When you get scared and push him away, he pulls you closer until you can relax and trust he is not going to leave. It takes a while for you to trust it. He knows. He experienced alot of hardship Ker, it hasn’t been easy for him either, so go easy on him. He is fiercely over protective of you but he knows you are a free spirit and need independence, it’s hard at times. Sometimes I catch him talking to me, asking him for guidance with you. I wish I could tell him to keep it simple, you just get really scared and like to run. I want to tell him to let you run, you need to work out your anxieties, but to make it known you are loved, and it will be enough to make you come home. But I watch you two figure it out together, time after time.
H- It’s beautiful to watch. He knows you are a dreamer and he lets you dream Ker. But he is gentle with you when it is time to bring you back down to reality.
H- You are both so different, yet the same. The best of friends. It is entertaining getting to watch over you two. There is so much laughter, love and warmth. Oh the places you see together. You bring him peace he’s never experienced before, he brings you a consistency you’ve never experienced before. Sometimes I get a little impatient and I want you two to cross paths sooner. You need him as much as he needs you. But then I check in on him, and I check in on you, and I see you are both not ready yet. You both have stuff to work on, but when it happens, it was worth the wait. Ker, he’s such a good man and worth the wait. I couldn’t have asked for a better man for my little girl to experience life with.
H- It’s entertaining watching the two of you. Sometimes he knows how to get a reaction of you. It reminds me of how Jamie and I would rile you up.. and I laugh, shaking my head, and I want to warn him “DON’T DO THAT”, I’ve seen your temper!! But you hold you own, and so does he. I wish I could share time with you and him in my human form, but I am watching over you two. Even though we have never met, I am protecting him. He is an important person to you, to me.
There is so much warmth in his words,
He is more excited than I am.
This is my silver lining.
I- When do I meet him? Or have I met him?
I feel excitement and anticipation.
I feel…. hope.
H- And ruin the surprise?! Not a chance. You have no idea how good it feels to watch you two realize the connection. Ker, you walk around with your head in the clouds, you fall in love with every beautiful thing you see. But the look in your eye when you realize feet planted in the ground, that you found your soul mate.. It’s so good. Watching all the wheels of anxiety you have, and seeing each time you realize closer and closer “he’s the one”. It’s good Ker. I know you don’t want to marry. He knows what you lost and he walks you down the aisle. I would not any other person to take my place. He’s a good man Ker. Go easy on him.
I am not sure how I feel.
I am wrecked. With grief.
The three men in my life
Meant to give me away
Are no longer around to do so.
But the most important man is telling me it’s ok.
I am broken.
But I feel his words light a torch
To the empty passages of my soul.
I want this moment to last forever.
It’s all impermenant,
It’s all a dream.
H- I let you guys down. I wish I could have given you more of my time.. I lost so much time with you. I just wanted to get us ahead financially so we could buy the cabin on the lake. I gambled our time and future away on the wrong choice. I had to die knowing that.
I feel rage.
I- I don’t understand how you could do this to us!! Your Dad died when you were my age you passed too. You should have prepared us for the “what if”. You are the one person who would understand, and you never talked about it. Jamie and I needed guidance. You were the one person who could have prepared us, and you denied us that.
H- I know. I had to die knowing I failed you and Jamie. It haunted me. My body was failing me, but my mind was awake. But Ker, I always told you how I never had to worry about you, you are too stubborn and determined. I meant it. And when I realized I wasn’t going to leave the hospital, I kept thinking of that stubborn girl who would do whatever it took to prove she could do it. You have a strong spirit, I knew you would be ok.
I feel numb.
We can’t go back,
And we can’t stay here.
I: Dad.. do we meet again?
H: Oh yes. Yes we do. We keep meeting each other. It’s different each time. Roles change. Maybe next time I will be the moody Damn Awful Daughter who refuses to clean her room or go to bed before midnight.
I did not go easy on him as a father, that’s for sure.
But the weight hits,
It hits my heart hard.
I: How do I find you?
H: Follow your joy.
I look confused.
H: Imagine joy is like a pinpoint on a map. I am with you, where ever you go and when ever you experience joy, I experience joy. It feels good. Maybe even more for me than you because all I want is to see you happy. I will associate joy with that thing or place. In our different forms, I will find myself drawn to places, things, and so will you. Sometime’s it’s easy and we will be born with an immediate family connection. But it’s not always that way. Maybe I will be some dorky kid who goes off into the woods with his accoustic guitar strapped on his back until he finds himself near water, and you will be there with your yoga mat, and we’ll find each other. “I feel like I’ve known you all my life” we’ll say. Just follow what brings you joy and be present. I’ll do the same. We’ll find each other.
H: I know you get so lost in your head. Try to pay attention. You will pick up the signs I am dropping. Trust yourself. Ker, this is not the end.
I allow all his words to seep into me.
I think of the trees, the sea, open roads- joy.
I am determined.
I: I’ll find you.
H: I know you will. You accomplish everything you set your mind to.
I feel hardened.
Broken, but at peace here.
I feel my walls melt down,
I know we are close to the end.
Him: I love you.
I: I know.
I: Dad.. I love you so much.
So much emotion pouring through my words.
Him: I know.
He is grounded, like the forests and trees he introduced to me.
He is grounded. Strong. Everything i am not.
I: Hey Dad –
I: Can we stay here a little bit longer?
H: Yes. We can stay here for as long as you need.
He and I,
At the dock.
Where time is suspended,
And we’re together again.
He and I.
He and I.