Sitting on my dad’s bed, I watched as he gingerly cradled my daughter Alenna in his arms. Having lost his first-born in my sister Angie, he had spiraled out of control in his own way, ultimately suffering a stroke and losing much of his ability to communicate clearly. Now living back at my brother’s house, I’d make my way over to my dad for this initial introduction. His hands trembled slightly as he gazed down at her delicate features, a mixture of awe and fear etched onto his face. It had been years since I had seen him this nervous, this vulnerable, and I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness deep within me. As I sat beside him, I could sense the weight of our strained relationship, the awkwardness that lingered between us. It seemed as though we were strangers, unsure of how to act around each other, despite being father and son. I wanted to break the silence, to fill the room with words that would bridge the gap between us, but I found myself at a loss. My dad’s eyes never left my daughter’s face, and I could tell that he was lost in thought, reminiscing about the past, or perhaps wondering about the future. I could sense his fear, his uncertainty, and I wished that I could take it all away, to ease his burden, even if just for a moment. Alenna gurgled and cooed in his arms, oblivious to the tension in the room. As my dad handed Alenna back to me, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Our lives had been but a series of circumstances, both within and not within our control, and while his life was plagued with the repercussions of decisions he made many many years ago, I’d begin to see the lessons he was teaching me with his actions, even if the words never came. He looked at me, hopeful that I would make better choices than he did and make the most of this new life that we were blessed with, and I hoped for the same.

Similar Posts