The disappearance

Among our grievances is the inevitable fact that our father is aging, despite our refusal to accept. How do you accept that your father, who once held your hand and portrayed a figure bigger than yourself and peers, is no longer the same? How do you accept that he is no longer as strong or as passionate about the little things or even the more complicated? How do you erase your childhood memory of him raising you and replace it by the sad image you see everyday: sitting, aimlessly filling out word puzzles and dozing off to sleep in between?
But the inevitability of our father’s disappearance is not as heartbreaking as the fact that our time with him shrinks too. We miss him when he is gone at work. We miss him when he is with us because he is somewhere in his thoughts, maybe back in Paris where he studied for a year. Or maybe he is imagining the rest of his life in Europe, in the meadows, the way he has always imagined it. No one knows what the man thinks or feels. Perhaps the closest person to him is Mom but I feel that even she has lost part of him.
We are guilty for not trying hard enough. We are guilty for not talking and for assuming he has nothing to say. We are guilty for the choices we make as children. We are guilty for abandoning them to build lives of our own and satisfy our needs. We are guilty for growing up and moving on, for telling ourselves that it is all to make them proud.
I see my father everyday and everyday I feel that I am losing him too. I want to remember what he does and says for I know that I can never let him disappear before my eyes. And it is with this burden of guilt that she and I part from my father every morning and night, hoping that the next day we can make it up. We still see him as grandeur; we see him as the man who spoke out to us and stood tall. For that, it becomes ever harder to see him change.

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