Saturday, April 26, 2014

I was listening to the song Hallelujah, by John Cole

Hallelujah It's a beautiful, evocative song. It evoked these thoughts. Just before my 27th birthday, my Grandfather died. I went down to Oklahoma on my vacation to try and do what I could to help. I don't think I was of much use. One time as I was sitting by Grandpa's bed, wishing I could ask him about his life - wanting to learn his experiences - to download him into my mind... But I was overcome by the shyness of a child in the presence of a great mind. Grandpa broke the silence by accusing me of babysitting. In February of 1993, that experience was repeated almost exactly with my father. The deepest pain I carry is that I had no idea what practical thing I could have done for either of these practical men. Big, strong men, both of them. And both of them crushed by cancer. I didn't ask them for what I wanted, because that would have been selfish. I still have no idea. Maybe that's a deeper pain. Dad did ask me to do one thing. I don't know if I'm more ashamed that I refused or of him for asking it of me. He asked me to help him commit suicide. Philosophically, I agreed with him. But I had a wife and children to think about. So I thought about the arrest and the trial. The last words I remember my father saying to me were, "It doesn't seem to be working." That's how he broke the two minute silence after him dropping this bomb on me. I agreed with that. It's possible that the last thing I ever said to him was, "No."

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