Time like a river, and filled with rapids.

Saturday, it will be the fifteenthanniversary of my father’s death.
Sunday will mark my eldest son’stwenty-first birthday.
Both of those are painful, though fordifferent reasons.
The first hurts because there is somuch I left unsaid (and unasked) to my dad. I thought there was so much time. Hedied at seventy-two, from complications to a knee operation whichshould have prolonged his life by making it easier for him to walkand exercise. His death was sudden and unexpected: one day he wasfine, the next day he was dead. The infection which took him wasfast and furious, and did not respond to the best efforts of hisdoctor.
I can’t bring him back. All I can dois make sure not to make the same mistake with my mother.
With the Not-So-Little Drummer Boy, hispassage into formal adulthood fills me with regret. What have I donewrong? What should have I done differently? He is a wonderful youngman, and it feels like it was the result of forces beyond me. Lastsummer we had a discussion about ways in which the occasionaldysfunction which this family is prone to had hurt him. By the endof the talk both of us were in tears. All parents fear that they arescrewing up their kids; I have been told exactly what I did to mine,without blame or rancor, merely pain.
I can’t protect him anymore. All I cando is tell him I love him, and tell him all the things I wish my dadhad told me before he died.
Neither of those things seem like quiteenough.
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