I've been trying
to remember my father's hands. He had swarthy skin and straight
black hair. "From Yemen," a cousin said. Spain and Eastern
Though we had not
seen each other for many years, we spoke often on the phone.
When, at age 90, he entered advanced Alzheimer's
I visited to say goodbye. It was almost midnight
when I arrived at the Florida condo apartment. He
emerged from the bedroom bleary-eyed,
and asked Mother, "Who
is this man?" "He's your son," she replied.
Two weeks later, on
day before I left, he
placed his hand on top of mine, and without
speaking he spoke to me, father
to son, for the last time.
We are getting
ready to leave. There is a baby, a seemingly happy child.
Mother says that he is not happy but nervous, because we
are preparing to leave. Even though he may be too young to
understand, i tell him that leaving is natural, and that
he is going to like where we are going, although i've never
been there before.