At ~3:10PM today, my father was killed in a car accident. He was 73 years old. I never got the chance to tell him goodbye or that I loved him.
The end for him was just so sudden. And for us as well. Mom said that he woke up happy. He was working on project for a neighbor. He was rebuilding a wood splitter. This was the sort of thing that dad enjoyed. He was a mechanical genius or at least that is what it seemed like to me.
Looking at the pictures of the collision are unreal. I guess, I just thought he was a superman and would continue on forever. Fortunately, no one else was injured in the accident. At least I got to see him for a few minutes today.
This whole day seems like a dream. I woke up after four hours of sleep, drove his truck to St. Michael's, in Grand Ronde, to go to Mass. I didn't stay after very long and then came home. Mom called and was feeling faint. She wanted me to drive in and pick her up from her church in Willamina. Just as I got off the phone, Dad was coming in the house. I said, "we gotta go pick mom up." We drove in together. He snoozed in the passenger seat. I transferred cars and he returned home, but stopped off at the neighbor (whose wood splitter he was rebuilding). When he finally got home for lunch, I was snoozing. At five, I woke to a state patrol officer at the front door. And then he broke the news. Lester, was killed this afternoon.
His last words to me were on Saturday evening, before I left to see a Johnny Cash tribute band play at the Wildwood Hotel, "Bill, I want you to install a whorehouse light on the pump house. I'll lay out the fixtures and the wire. All you need is a ladder and a drill."
Last Sunday, I helped him get the pump going. He put in a huge garden this year. I will think of him when I am out hoeing weeds between the squash, beans, potatoes, and other crap.
I know that I have perplexed him. He was never expecting his only son to be a poet. He was always hoping I would get a real job someday. I always told him this was my real job. This morning when I saw him for the last time, he smiled.
Today, dad as you were released into the universe beyond that which could be seen, I released my first literary magazine into the world too. I only wish that I could have shown it to you. I hope dad, that this venture into the realm of e-book publishing will bear fruit and that I too can stand on my own two feet and take care of others as you did. I never said the words, "I Love You," I was always hoping there would be more time.