I went to the late Paul Lenzi’s blog site at Avia Tinder’s suggestion and read all of the recent posts listed there. Reading the final words of a man who knew he was dying had an affect on me that I’m still having trouble reconciling. I hurt and feel like I experienced something private, that although freely shared by Paul, I didn’t deserve to to be part of.
My father died of COPD, for lack of a better description, last year on September 9th, and I remember his struggles and fears as his ability to take useful breath diminished daily. He was scared, “imagine drowning” he said. My father was old school smart and intelligent in ways that school couldn’t teach. he worked with his hands until he couldn’t, and even as he faded, I could see his work bench by how he arranged the paraphernalia of his last days on the kitchen table, though no-one else could. He would become frustrated and angry when anyone tried to rearrange his space. Unless you had worked with him and understood the pattern, you would think he was making a cluttered mess of things. I saw it, I was fortunate to have been able to work with and learn from him. When I explained, they stopped trying to organize his space, even though it was a clutter. It mirrored his work bench. I once made the mistake of trying to organize his work bench in the garage one time and he wasn’t happy. He knew where every tool and scrap piece of metal, wood, sandpaper, you name it, was until I ‘helped out’. I don’t think he ever found some of the things that I’d moved. He was independent, knew how every thing mechanical worked and why, literally, and could fix any piece of machinery, big or small, with the tools he owned. I watched him make tools when he didn’t have just the right on close at hand. He was gifted with the intuitive understanding of how things worked, and as good as I am along the same vein, I looked like the village idiot compared to him.
Too late in my life did I rekindle my relationship with my father. We didn’t have a falling out, I went a different direction and we kept to ourselves. My family is not especially close, we love each other fiercely, but we don’t seek each other out frequently, even though my two siblings and live I within 20 minutes of each other. Our parents divorced when we aged about 8, 10, and 12, and that had profound and different effects on each of us, shaping and influencing us to this day. The birth of my daughter helped bring my father and I back together. I can only imagine how my life would have evolved if things had been different when I was a child. I hope that I have been a better father to my daughter than I was a son to my father.
I didn’t intend to write this tonight or probably ever. I have done what the men in my family have always done and buried my feelings, swallowing the words and letting the emotions cool to ash. Sometimes a breath of air stirs the ash and fans an ember to flame. I miss my father and all the lost possibilities that may have been. I don’t blame, if there is any, it’s mine to bear now, both my parents are gone. Both of their obituaries were written by my hand and seemed so inadequate as a testament to their lives, but how can you give fair treatment in 300 words or less.
My only regret;
I was never satisfied
When I should have been
Why did it take me so long
To learn to appreciate
I met Avia Tinder through her blog site, The Friday Sparrow, a few days ago and she recommended that I visit Paul Lenzi’s site and read his poetry, now, so do I.
Please go to Avia’s site, https://thefridaysparrow.wordpress.com/
and to the Paul Lenzi site, https://poesypluspolemics.com/2018/07/07/mortality/
I’m done now.