My Father’s Journey Begins

My Brother-in-law wakes me at 3 a.m.
Lying on the floor at The Bird House
“You should come downstairs”
Megan and baby Sylvia are sleeping in the bed above me
“Your Dad stopped breathing”
I lift myself out of Ambien sleep, foggy and null
As I walk down the stairs my head becomes clear
Dad is there waiting for us
I take his hand and tell him how much we love him,
That we will always love him
That it is OK to walk the path of the ancestors
The Yaba Soore.
We take his hands and kiss him
As I kiss his chest I feel his heart beating strong and fast
He’s warm and I kiss his shoulder right above the temporary tattoos of his two Fentanyl patches.
I walk outside, look up at the stars in the ice night. Orion has set. The deer are sleeping in a hollow in the woods. The Interstate hums and throbs over the rise
I take a drag from my vape pen – I developed the habit in the spring, worrying about him.
Walking back into his room I am overcome with grief, sobbing and hugging my mom
“It will be alright. Love you.”
Dad, I hope you are hanging out with your friends
The old guys from Boni
The mask-makers
Drinking millet beer and telling stories about the people you love
We will always tell stories about you, until we meet you again on the path of the ancestors

3 Replies to “My Father’s Journey Begins”

  1. My heart breaks for you, Nick. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey with us. Please know our thoughts are and have been with you and your family.

  2. We are so sorry, Nick. I lost my father this year so I know something of what this is like. Your dad was one of a kind and he will always be part of you. You are all in our thoughts as you adjust to this new reality. It’s hard.

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