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A Steady Hand

How well do I know him, I asked a hundred times! I grew up by his hand without even understanding what his presence in my life meant? He is cold, he is silent, and yet he is firm. Any tribute is not worth taking for I do not know how to describe him, except that he is always absent.

Until recently…

His health now failing out of tiredness, it is slowly eating up whatever life force he has left in him. After being made redundant on his 45th birthday he went from absent to demotivated. What used to be a steady routine is now diminished to occasional blank stares. His usual firm stance, no longer there. Sometimes I see tears rolling down from one cheek, intelligently guised like a weary man’s eyes.

“Father, how are you coping?” I cautiously asked as I softly stroked his back.

“It’s not as easy as I thought it is son.” he replied, as he struggled to put up a smile on his face. “I use to only worry about providing for you and your mother; on special occasions, I use to worry about being there for you as a father should.” I heard him clear his throat after a short pause. “I use to change your diaper or put you to sleep when your mother is not around, until my work took me away from both of you”. I was about to rebut when he interrupted me, “now that I have all the time in the world to be your Father again, I do not know where to start

Thinking about those words I heard him say, I am also at a loss…is he trying to ask for forgiveness for times he never spent with me while I was growing up? I looked down on him and saw his hand reaching out to me, “will you show me how?” he asked. I froze for a second, but it felt like an eternity. That brief moment brought back vivid memories of my father and I as he taught me my first floating exercise. I can still remember him holding my chin as he instructed me to relax. His words I still remember, “I will not let you sink; do you trust me?” like it was yesterday.

I sat down beside him. Wrapped my arms around his shoulder as far as they go, “of course father, I trust you!”

Photo Credits:
PenFlavor Photo Collection by PenFlavor © 2014

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