(to my Dad)



Time moves us ever onward,

but I look back and think of you.

I know you had to go;

your poor body so abused,

so tired of fighting the war you could not win.

The fight had been a long one;

disease had never had so strong an adversary.

The battle drained you, left you weak, shaking,

but you rallied each new day and prevailed.

Job. You said you’d change your name to Job

because "you never could get a break" -

always joking about the dark struggle.

I saw you defeated at the end of a long day,

your sons lifting and carrying you to bed.

I saw you wake the next morning, still tired, aching.

You went to work, securing a future for the family

you would have to leave behind.

Fortitude. An old word, not much used today.

It means strength of mind; moral courage;

That is what you showed us every day.

The final insult, the final surgery that lopped off

flesh and dignity was too much for you.

Too soon for us, not soon enough to spare you pain

you reaped your final reward. Alone.

You died with the name of your beloved on your lips,

a heartfelt definition of love.

We wept, at the same time

delighting in your freedom. We miss you still, always.

Your legacy: be strong, be brave, study. Laugh.

Be there for your family. Work hard.

Live large, live right, and love.



© Ellen Ferejohn Maziekien


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