I Visited Him Once

When I was sixteen and came
home from school I usually
found my father sitting in the
living room smoking. Then
one day I walked into the
living room and he was on
the sofa. He wasn’t asleep.
He sat up and said, “I need
to have you drive me to the
hospital. I think I’m having
a heart attack.” He was.
He stayed in the hospital
for over a week. I remember
visiting him once during that
time. He lived another year
never fully recovering and
then one day he died — gone.
I feel bad to this day that I
didn’t visit him more often
when he was in the hospital.
He would have liked that.
If it had been reversed,
he would have visited
me often, but that is
what fathers do — that
and forgive their un-
thoughtful children.

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