I fell hard for an old, Polish man with a sweet heart and a killer constitution, the unassuming, slow-moving star of a story that he, his late wife and their little dog so gamely let me take a crack at. As I contemplate the book of his life, I wonder: does it end here?
The day before my Dad, exactly two years later.
The last years were really rough, even for a champ like you. You lost your wife of 61 years, what was left of your health, and the pooch you both held so dear.
In the last year of your life, you could barely move or speak and spent most of your time in bed.
I went to visit you in hospital and your eyes followed my every move, fading beams of sky blue light. You were beyond exhaustion, but you could not, would not sleep. The body that brought you through the battles of World War II, a labor camp in Siberia, starvation, poverty and two massive strokes, would not quit. It was something to see. When your family left us alone in the hospital room, I bent over and whispered in your ear:
‘Eddy, it’s ok to let go.’
They told me you lost your English, so I’m not sure you understood, but when I leaned in to say goodbye, your hand crawled over, took mine, and brought it to your lips. Your kiss broke and repaired my heart.
At your funeral, through the crucifixion, prayers and pomp of a church, I looked up and what unexpected delight – you leapt up from the hospital bed, in a washed-out gown, raised your arms with a flashing smile, and danced to the music in my head.
Seconds later, Junya appeared, in your arms again, and you held each other joyfully, laughing as you spun in the air, home sweet home, lost in the clouds.
Eddy, I know you believe in heaven and I believe in miracles, so send a sign, and tell us: can it be? Is it true?
Your grandson’s eulogy made me laugh and cry. There is so much I don’t know and never will about you. But, much more than sadness and loss, I feel gratitude and joy and thank you from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your life with us all.
I’d be so pleased if you would celebrate Eddy’s life by reading his stories. Start with the first one, Puppy Love (each one will steer you to the next one) and tell me how you feel.
FAN THE FLAMES: My dear readers, would you help produce this series of love stories about an old man and a puppy – as a book?? If so, please…
GOOD NEWS FLASH: Shifting gears; the headline of this landmark article says it all:
‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen.
In case you haven’t read the article, click here.
In case you want to read Eve Ensler’s take on letting the mythical Daddy die, click here.
Let’s pray this discussion represents a sea change in how we view, deal with, heal and prevent violence against women, world-wide. Amen.
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