Wednesday, February 4, 2015

On his own

We spoke while he was in the hospital. He went from one location to another and the switch was good, but he wasn't up for visitors.

"That's ok," I said. "I just wanted to call and hear your voice."

He called me when he got home yesterday and said he was ready for visitors. I went by his house today while the girls were in school. He greeted me at the door as I wheeled up trash cans so Anita wouldn't have to.

"This weather!" he said, smiling.

I smiled back. What a nice break from the freezing temperatures.

Before I could say more than hello, before he even let me step foot in his home, he reached out slowly and cupped my face and looked at me. He kissed my cheek and hugged me. I have never doubted his love for me.

We went inside.

"Is Anita here?" I asked.

"No," he said, and then proceeded to catch me up on how he was doing.

He told me about his health. He told me about his new painting projects. I noticed new work on his walls and felt happy that he was doing what he loves. We talked about marriage and home repairs and teaching art and writing. The way he sees images is just like how I see words--we do the same things with them, just different media. I felt like I was sitting with a kindred soul ... blanket rumpled next to him on the couch, a napkin crumpled on a table top, a drink of water nearby.

"If Anita was here, this would all be cleaned up," he said with a sweeping gesture. "But I don't care if it's out when company is over."

I told him where I hung his pictures. Told him how the one of the river was so bright and cheerful, vibrant. I sat looking at it one day, and it reminded me of a story called Pearl, about a father who mourns the loss of his daughter, sees her in a vision--alive and vibrant, a river separating them, a divide between life and death.

Anita came home some time later, and I chatted her, saying how David had called me yesterday.

"He called you?" she asked.

"Yes, he told me he was ready for visitors," I said, and I realized in that moment: no sweet wife had stood next to him reminding him to call me, he did it on his own--and I treasured it all the more.

He walked me to the door when it was time for me to get the kids from school.

"It's so nice out," he commented again. "I think I'm going to sit outside for a while."

The picture of the river is on my bedroom wall.

It will always remind me of a father's love, even should death divide.

the one on the right reminds me of Pearl

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