Why Did You Leave Me?

Reading the N.Y.T.’s Sunday Book Review

about a book by a man whose dad died

shrouded in mystery when the author was

six and was in search of a reason like an

archeologist sifting through mounds and

mounds of dust for a clue to an ancient

lost civilization that existed yesterday and,

in fact, is alive and well today, the reader sat

and started sifting through the dust of his

own history wondering once again as he has

for fifty-one years why his father stepped

in front of the train.  The coroner took

pity on the pitiful wife, daughter and son

and benevolently ruled accidental, but

everyone knew everything except the

reason, that tiny, elusive chard in the

desert of his past. And so he kept hunting

for an answer to the unanswerable, “Why

did you leave me?” He was okay by now

with his own search and he was even okay

with that same search after the premature

death of his late wife after therapy and time

and the love of a woman who still searches

in her dreams for an answer to the same

question about her deceased husband, but

then he began to cry the parent’s cry when

he saw in his mind’s eye the sifters going

back and forth, back and forth in the minds

of his son and daughter as they seek an

answer to their mother’s abrupt departure

from this life while on the first vacation taken

without them. The medical reason was known

– an explosion and a flood in the  beautiful brain

of that beautiful mother, but, they never got to

say goodbye. Still, even after twenty years, the

persistent, unanswerable question kicks up

dust as it rises out of the desert of the

experience of desertion, however unintended,

and abandonment, always abandonment,

ever abandonment, “Why did you leave me?”

His mind turned to his stepson and his

daughter-in-law whose dad died in an instant

when she was nineteen, and then the man just

sighed, said a prayer and returned to the

Sunday’s Times.

1 thought on “Why Did You Leave Me?

  1. The sifting never ends, as though we were looking for gold. The rocks produced dent and ding our psyche, bruise our self-image: “Why couldn’t I have turned right instead of left hours earlier and thus hugged my son instead of having to cut him down?”

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