I see him now, older of course, and gray-haired but not weak. No, I see him now as knowingly different and aged by experience but not robbed by this in any way. No, not at all.
I imagine him the way he might have looked if he were around today. I imagine the things he might have said if we were together or fishing from the side of an Upstate pond.
I try to picture him and the way he would look at me now. I wonder the face he would make when he came to see my home or sat at my table to have dinner. I wonder what he would say if he saw the picture of me on the front page of the newspaper or if he watched me on the news. I think of him and I try to imagine the way he would smile or how he would tell me a better way to fix things around the house.
I think about the stories he might tell me. Or, better yet, I think about the advice he would give me now, especially since I am older, and after all, isn’t this what most parents tell their kids? Don’t they say you’ll understand when you get older?
I wonder what he would tell me about my dilemmas or what he would say about how I’ve handled myself thus far. I think about him and wonder where we would go if he came for a visit. What would we eat? I know The Old Man loved ribs. He loved big meals with bones because eating the meat from the bones was a big thing for The Old Man. This would be a proud thing for me, to feed him and watch The Old Man eat until he felt satisfied. This would mean the world to me.
I think the person he is now is different from the man he was when he was alive. In fact, I’m sure this is true. It has been told to me that when we pass into the next form of existence, we let go of all the unnecessary things we held onto while alive and in the flesh.
I like the sound of this.
I like the idea of letting go and abandoning all the weighted ideas that hold us down. Perhaps this is why the spirit lifts. Maybe this is why they hover above because the spirit is free — free to move on, free to let go of all the unnecessary trivial things, free to be washed from what the flesh tends to hold dearly.
I see him in my thoughts and imagine the tension in his brow is easy. There is no reason for regret and no reason to hold the strains because at last, there is an understanding of a greater truth, which we who live in the world are unaware of.
I would ask him questions. I wonder if I would understand his answers or if I could comprehend the concepts of letting go, relinquishing fear or retiring doubt. I wonder if I could grasp the ideas of renouncing ego, pride and putting aside my discrepancies and my differences to be as free as the spirit.
I know somewhere is the greater good. I know that there has to be an answer. I know there is a purpose and I know that I have one out there, somewhere, just waiting for me.
I assume The Old Man would smile at me. I assume The Old Man would smile because he understood the answers that I lacked the capacity to understand.
In the end, I do believe all will be revealed. I believe there is more out there for me. I believe there is something in store but I don’t know what it is yet. And I emphasize the word yet . . .
I think about him and what it would be like to watch The Old Man tie a fishing hook to the end of his line. His hands would move perfectly as if the knot and the hook were second nature. He would bait the hook and toss the line out into the water. And I imagine the look of serenity on his face because the stress is gone.
I don’t know what he thinks or sees or if he thinks or sees anything. But I hope he does. I hope that with my faults and all, I am still able to make him proud. I hope that he sees the truth in my heart and not the deceit in my world. And I mean, let’s face it, we all have deceit in our world.
Then again, this is what happens when we are alive and in the flesh. We hold onto ideas like good and bad, right or wrong, fairness or deceit. We hold this but in the end, none of this matters.
In the end, I know the day will come and I will face my last breath. I know that whether the day comes soon or hopefully a long time from now, I don’t want to face this time with doubt or regret. I don’t want to turn around and look at myself with shame.
No, I want more for myself.
I suppose for now though, I’m just a son. I’m just a kid wishing his Old Man would come home from work . . .
So we could play.