Chantal Stewart

Daddy.

You said that you thought you were dying. Pain gripped at your chest. Like a bear sitting on top of you so you could not move. You felt your pulse racing. You could not move from the bed. Could not reach the phone. Could not get to the door.

What did you think of in that time? Did you think of me as a child? How you carried me on your shoulders, galloping like a horse as I screamed with delight. Did you think of me now, grown-up? With your forever-pride and love cloaking me. Or did you go back to when you were a child.? Bare-footed on the farm. Making cattle from red clay. Walking hand in hand with your father. Learning, absorbing, growing. Secure in your father’s cloak.

And, as you clutched your chest, what did you think of your dying? You would not have thought of heaven or god. Did it feel like the end of everything, eternal emptiness? I hope not. I hope you felt always the bond we share. I hope it felt like a velvet cloak of a lifetime’s memories.

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