It’s been ten years Dad. Ten years since you vanished from this place, ten years since the world has seen your face. While your soul is finally at peace, peace is often elusive for me. Ten…oh what an odd thing. Such an even and perfect sum. Yet it’s just a long start to the eternal sleep that you’ve succomb.
Children first learn to count from one to ten. It seems like such completion to reach it then. An end to a sequence we all know by heart. Where one and zero stands reunited, just like the start. Two single numbers once again side-by-side. But for our reunion, it remains denied. One, two, three years, and four, I count the ways to where you are. Minute by minute, time stretches by. Still, I find myself needing just one more goodbye.
It’s been ten years Dad. Ten years of talking to the sky, asking Mother Nature to give me just one sign. Just a bird, a butterfly, or something to let me know. Maybe just a faint whisper that causes the wind to blow. Even in my fifties, still the fortunate son. With child-like eyes I yearn for a little fun. What innocent times alongside my Captain, my Dad. If only to see you once more would make me so glad. Such a great man, one of character and strength. So sweet and kind, your life cut short in length.
It’s been ten years Dad. Ten years since the last fatherly kiss, a strong embrace and a hint of your aftershave. So many little things I miss in these years since. I search the clouds, scan the trees, something to reassure this old prince. For ten years, I have wished for dreams as I crawl into bed. Quiet in my last yearning thoughts before drifting away in my head. Another dreamless slumber, how I wish for dreams where we’d visit one another. Even just a few moments as we pass on a street, just long enough for our eyes to meet. I would even settle for a reassuring nod. One that says, “it’s OK my boy, I’m here with our God.”
It’s been ten years Dad. Ten years to imagine ideas and things. You wouldn’t believe what my imagination brings. Sometimes in bed, as I wait for sleep, time travel I think, while sometimes I weep. If I had a time machine, oh what I would do. I think for starters I would head to June twenty-two. Maybe to talk, change the course and keep things cool. But something tells me that’s against time travel’s rules.
So, where then would I go? Maybe 1950, nothing to nouveau. A young Marine you’d be, just eighteen. You wouldn’t know who I was, my presence unforeseen. I’m curious to see my father starting his life, just a couple of years before meeting his wife.
Or, maybe a trip to 1960 would be in my scope. To see you, Mom, my siblings, and how you would cope. Quietly, I’d watch the family that would be mine in 10 more years. Witnessing the beauty as I brush away the tears. I could head back to 1989, and watch your heart swell with pride. It was there on Parris Island, my first salute that made you cry.
One of my favorites would be 1995 and watch again as you pin on my shield. One more time you tried to keep those tears concealed. But actually, I wish for just a plain old scene. Where we can speak and hug in a moment so pristine.
What would I say during this rendezvous? What questions should I ask that are long overdue? Actually, it’s not answers I’ve searched for all these years. It’s your voice that would be the music to my ears. So, whaddya say Dad, just one minute can you spare? What about one minute every 10 years, that seems more than fair? I think I know how you’d reply, like the sweet man with a request he wouldn’t deny.
“It’s been ten years Son. Ten years since my time here was done. I hear you want just one minute Marine? Well, I’ll do you better once we convene. Next time you crawl into bed, go to that time machine parked in your head. Release the brake and set your course, and let us meet without remorse. But stay for more than a minute, maybe an hour or even a day. Then tomorrow, come back again…whaddya say? What an exciting adventure for me and my boy. Seeing you would also bring me joy. One last thing Son before you go. I know it’s 10 years, and it’s been slow. But in many ways, I never left. I live on in your eyes, your thoughts, your blood, your breath. So when you’re feeling lonely and down, simply pick up your head and have another look around. I’m there…in the clouds, the trees, the birds, the breeze.”