delighting in all things communication
courtesy of Sandy Ross, Word's Worth, 519.871.word (9673)
2018 #03 | archivehome

Heeere's Father's Day

Dad loved watching Johnny Carson, often with me, in our rec room. In my father's last days, in fact, the talk show legend was one of his final visitors, as Mum and I learned at Dad's hospital bedside. "You just missed Johnny Carson," he said as he mimed a chewing motion, eating from an invisible bag. "He brought me popcorn."

Dad had more drugs in him than the Rolling Stones. Thankfully, his hallucinations were comforting, even comedic, to soothe his transition ... to soothe ours.

In another medicinal mirage, he was concentrating on his hands, frustrated fingers fumbling a pen. "Can I help, Dad?" "Yes, I can't seem to thread this darned needle. Maybe you can." I roleplayed my part and took the pen ('needle'). I'd seen Marcel Marceau on stage in England, so had a (false) sense of mastery. Gesturing broadly, I wet the 'thread' in my mouth, squinting dramatically to find a tiny slit of a thin, silver eye. My overacting thrust us into harsh reality. "Don't you dare patronize me," Dad jerked. The jig was up, I assumed; he'd come to realize it was just antics in mid air. He grabbed the pen from me and, turning it end-over-end, nib up, corrected me. "You've got it the wrong way around!" Mum and I had to smile as this time, dear Dad successfully guided the string to its destination.

On this 30th Father's Day since (any day, really), I'm grateful to recall far more than our final times. I hold mini moments, wee joys, sprinkled in with bigger smilestones along our way. And I revisit our era, thanks in part to Web videos. In my apartment, it's as if I'm on our basement couch, Dad in his easy chair, laughing at witty banter. Relive it with me, if you like. Happy Father's Day, and heeere's Johnny! (YouTube).

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