Remember, it was exactly two years ago when I asked you to go for a coffee with me. You refused to use the walking stick, and slowly made your way to the coffee shop around the corner. You even insisted on me going ahead, ordering the coffee, while you went to the corner shop to buy a cigarette!
Your stoic nature, evident as you walked along the road, frail yet strong in your posture and stride.
By the time you got to the coffee shop your coffee was cold, exactly the way you liked it. We sat in silence for a few minutes as you puffed away on your cigarette. Me, watching the traffic and thinking about Kai.
I recall observing him withdrawing from you, guilt in his eyes as he could no longer look at you or be around you. Knowing that you too noticed this, and wondering how this may have affected your own emotional state . . .
It was this very morning when I shared with you why Kai’d been withdrawing from you. Explaining that he thought it his fault that you were so sick. Like he missed the Mazda 5, he too thought that you must be missing the Mazda 5 so badly that it made you sick! He blamed himself, because in his mind he was the one who convinced you to sell your car, and therefore he was responsible for your ill-health. He was convinced that if you still had your Mazda 5 then you’d be all good.
As I shared this with you, you looked at me with an all-knowing look in your eyes. The look that expressed an understanding.
Over cold coffee I reassured you that I’ve since explained to him that your ill-health had nothing to do with your car, and that you don’t miss the car the way he did. I too had this chat with Kai over a hot chocolate in one of our favourite coffee shops. It is here where we discussed how he could reconnect with you again – hence the plant he gifted you, after which he crawled into bed with you and the two of you watched tv for the rest of the day. A leisurely Saturday, three days before you were admitted to hospital, never to come home again. Exactly two-years today.
I ponder on our brief time spent at the coffee shop, you and I, closure and acceptance.
My father was diagnosed, unexpectedly, with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on 16th May 2017. He died 12 days later, there was no battle, only dignified acceptance.
12 Days Later . . . Pancreatic Cancer
Finding My Voice, A Father’s Love
Yellow the Colour of His Death
Dad, I’ve Sought Your Guidance