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My Dad. My Heart.

Dad, it's Father's Day.

I have been hurting so much lately.

My heart can hardly take anymore.

If you were alive I would probably call you in the afternoon or the next day to say Happy Father's Day. I would ask you how you celebrated.

You would say "Oh, I cooked a steak." or "Your Mom and I went out to eat."

I still have the last Father's Day card that I bought for you.

Like many others that I never mailed.

There are many things I don't do.

I don't frame or hang pictures.

I don't check the mail.

I don't put my laundry away.

I don't guard my heart until it is too late.

When you were in the hospital I made sure to have Father's Day cards and framed pictures of my kids for you in your hospital room. Sadly, that didn't keep your body from deteriorating while your mind watched in horror and helplessness.

My heart is scarred and struggling to pump.

If you were alive I wouldn't tell you that.

Our conversation would sound like this.

Me: "So what's new?"

You: "Nothing much. Did ya'll get any rain over there?"

Me: "We got some sprinkles that is all. How about over here?"

You: "Nope." (and said with the utmost of sadness) "It's as dry as a bone,

I even had to sell a few cows."

Me: "Oh no."

Then we would just sit together on the couch and you would fall asleep.

The traffic of the highway and Mom's novela in the background.

My heart skips a beat.

The hardest part about those visits was leaving, because each visit you were slipping away.

Your left hand would shake and you would cover it with your other hand.

No longer able to work the land as you did for many years, my kids would pick the grapefruits growing in the back orchard and box them up carefully so I could deliver them to others. When usually the boxes were ready to go and load upon my departure.

My heart restores to it's regular bass rhythm.

I loved how regimented you were.

You left at a certain time, came back at a certain time, napped at a certain time.

That predictability lives in me with the schedules and to-do lists I crave.

Without them I am lost and without purpose.

A thick layer of scar tissue surrounds my heart protecting it and yet damaging it even more.

Oh how I miss you Dad.

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