“Hey Daddy! What’s going on?” I couldn’t hide the excitement in my voice. I love hearing from my dad.
“Pop’s gone to be with Jesus,” he said matter of factly.
He never was one for small talk.
All I could think to myself was, “Jesus who? Like…THE Jesus? ! Wait-are you trying to romantically say he’s. ..”
I cried. Snot dripped out of my nose. Broke down right there in the passenger seat of my car. My partner was at the wheel silent. He knew what happened from the one sided context clues. When I ended the conversation with my dad, he softly said ,”Babe, I’m so sorry.” I was too.
I was so sorry.
He was 92. Great life. Proud man. Accomplished. Veteran. Disciplined. I wasted so much time. I procrastinated so much. There were so many things I wanted him to be proud of. When someone lives that long you have this false sense of mortality. You forget who is truly in charge. You forget your days are numbered.
He was tall, handsome and he only spoke if he had something profound to say. He would always talk about his “good looking family.” He taught us to take care of one another. He absolutely adored his wife! It was deeper than love. It was what musicians sing about and what artists try to paint. It was what philosophers die trying to define.
I will miss trying to impress you and prove to you that I am as tough as my male cousins. I will miss trying to help with the family business. I will miss your sweet smile…it was so genuine. I know I couldn’t keep you here forever. I know I took you for granted.
I am so sorry. ..
…I didn’t get to say goodbye. I love you Papa Ben.
By: Shaun Nickens