I stood there, by my dad's bedside in the stifling atmosphere of that nursing care facility. He lay there, a man who had weathered the tempests of life, from the loss of my mother to the relentless grip of throat cancer. Life had tested him in myriad ways, yet he had soldiered on, his spirit unyielding. But now, in this moment, our roles were reversed, and I was there to ensure his every need was met.
As I leaned in, hoping to catch his gaze, my heart brimming with concern, he whispered, his voice a fragile, raspy thread of sound, "Go away."
"Go away?" I thought in disbelief. Me? His favorite person, his confidante? He wanted me to go away? A mixture of emotions surged within me – confusion, frustration, and a tinge of hurt. The words hung in the air, a terse command that I hadn't expected.
In response, I summoned the composure of a mature daughter, caregiver, and woman, and retorted, "Fine! I'll see you tomorrow." I left the room, my footsteps perhaps echoing like those of a sulking child as I navigated the dingy, yellow-hued corridor of the facility.
The following morning held the promise of a beautiful summer day. My brother and I found ourselves in my dad's garage, engaged in an earnest conversation with a plumber. We were strategizing about how to tackle a persistent leaky faucet in his shower room.
Yet, in that precise moment, a remarkable occurrence unfolded. A sense of wonder enveloped my brother and me as we both witnessed a magnificent iridescent blue dragonfly, a creature we had come to associate with our mother, grace the garage with its presence. It circled us, its movements graceful and ethereal.
As we marveled at this ethereal visitor, it abruptly departed, and in its wake, an iridescent green beetle emerged, giving chase to the dragonfly. What followed was a dance, a delicate choreography, as if these two creatures were engaged in a timeless waltz. Their movements were harmonious, a beautiful interplay of colors and grace that seemed to unfold to the rhythm of an unheard melody, a dance that whispered secrets only they could understand.
Amidst this enchanting spectacle, my phone rang . . . it was the care facility . . . dad had passed. In that moment, I felt a profound sense of comfort, as if the universe itself was reminding me that my parents were together, reunited in some ethereal realm, where they danced on the wind.
The memory of that morning lingers like a cherished melody, a reminder that sometimes, words are not needed to convey the deepest connections. In the silent dance of a dragonfly and a beetle, I found solace, and in my heart, I knew that love endures, transcending the boundaries of this world and the next.