March 19, 2011

The wind will blow

Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know which way the wind will blow
Who's to know when the time has come around
Don't wanna see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye.

                                                   U2, "Kite"

Bono wrote "Kite" as his father, Bob Hewson, was dying of cancer.  The song laments having to say goodbye to someone you are not ready to lose. I have always  been touched by this song but in light of the recent death of my father the song has taken on a much greater poignancy and meaning. Of "Kite" Bono said, "I wrote this for my kids, but now I think my old man wrote it for me." 

I've been thinking of my dad quite a lot in these last few days, now that the tornado of being back in Aylmer has ebbed. These little memories come at me, pushing out of me like a bird hatching. And  there is nothing to do to stop them. I am blessed to have a copy of the last picture taken of me and dad. I have it in my dining room. The picture was taken on the front porch of the family house in Aylmer, in August 2010. It hurts too much to look at it, though. 

I was not prepared for how much I am going to miss him. We were not especially close as I was growing up, he being on the road all the time. Then I moved away, in 1989, to attend Queen's and was back at home infrequently myself. But in these past few years, dad opened up to me and we started really communicating. He was also always welcoming of Mark and he seemed to enjoy our company when we visited.

Dad's great fear was to die alone and I am so honoured that we were both there holding dad as he passed, as was my sister Angela, and my mom. In the hospital room was also my dad's brother Glenn, his son Cullen, and my dad's cousin Micheal (who had lost his dad just a few days earlier). Dad was surrounded by love and I shall always be so grateful for the opportunity to be with him and to let him know that he was dearly loved. It was my sister Angela who gave dad permission to go, to stop fighting, and to rest. In an instant he was gone. It was so peaceful and it is Grace that spared dad. 

We found a U2: The Best of 1980-1990" CD in my dad's car. It was his quiet way of staying close to me.  That was dad. 

I miss him. I am glad I got to spend so much time with him and to tell him what I needed to tell him.  

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