it is not in the finding, but the searching

The last conversation with my Dad, not knowing it would be the last, is quite inspiring. Funny and bittersweet, and eye-opening. Still. For someone who didn’t think I had a connection with him, ever, it cemented us together forever. So many other moments did, too, even though we saw (was about to write ‘only’ but it doesn’t fit) each other sporadically through the years. Each encounter was wholesome and somehow made up for what I thought was lacking.

We are, as people, so connected it’s not even funny — silly expression, no? But we are, yet we fight it. We’re all within our own fences. Behind brick walls, latticed windows, and gates that look or seem so pretty. Entering the bubble requires purposely stepping over a threshold.

back to 2012

My father seemed to be incoherent at times, forgetful is more like it, but from my brother in Puerto Rico I understood that he was in bad shape — both mentally and physically. He didn’t seem so when we spoke, which we did more than normal those last few months because my brother asked me and my sister Joemille to go see him. But he sounded fine. We prodded him to come visit, and he did what he was good at: agree but ask that we let him see when. We bought him a plane ticket. Our brother insisted. I asked one of my sisters there to go see him when we found out he was in the hospital again.

“You should come.” She said. “He’s in good spirits and even joked. But, hum.”

Mercy

“Dad, if you don’t come visit one of us, you will open the door one day and find us there,” I ventured. He said absolutely not to do thatOk. That was the queue. All I needed to hear. Right? A brother and a sister tell you to come, and we hem and hedge … but, at last, we planned our clandestine trip.

I so veered from the burst of memory that got me writing!

Of everything he said that last time we spoke, which was days before we descended at the hospital to surprise him, “he doesn’t believe (in God) because he hasn’t found him, pardon, because he hasn’t looked for him” remains with me the most. Above all, because he was not a spiritual or religious person, but wise in his own way. I take that back — we’re all spiritual.

No cree porque no lo ha encontrado, perdón, porque no lo ha buscado.

DAD

Sounds different, better, in Spanish, but it could be because it’s how he said it, so it resonates more with the memory of it.