The Heart of the Matter
October 09, 2016
Knocking on Heaven's Door


NOTE: This is a piece I wrote seven years ago. Just stumbled across it today. Maybe it will be useful to you. Or inspiring. Or both.

As I write this, I am sitting in the home of my 94-year old father, in West Palm Beach, Florida. His house is new, but his body is not. "Like a worn out car," he tells me ten minutes ago as he sorts through his evening pills, looking for just the right combination to help him make it through the night.

Riding on the fumes of my own imagined immortality, I'm sitting at his kitchen table, cotton swabs, like yarrow stalks, everywhere.

His oxygen comes from a machine, his caregiver from an agency. He tells me the same stories I've heard a hundred times before, but tonight I do not interrupt. He needs to talk... and I need to listen.

I ask him about the happiest day of his life. "The birth of my two children," he says. I ask him to tell me the name of his father's father, but he cannot remember.

He tells me he wants to cry, but can't.

Sleeping pill swallowed, teeth removed, he invites me to his bedroom to watch the ritual of his night-time aide adjusting the tubes and the pillows beneath his swollen feet. He tells me in a raspy voice, "I want you to see what lies ahead."

He takes another breath. Barely.

I have no idea how I will die. Or when. I have no idea if my loved ones will be there with me or someone from the night shift. All I know is this: No matter how old, decrepit, or alone I may be at the time, I will die a happy man.

How do I know this? Simple. I've already experienced what I came here for. I won't try to name it here, because I can't. But suffice it to say, it's the source of all love, all peace, and all gratitude.

And the one who revealed it to me can reveal it to you.

I want that for my father, at 94. I want him to feel it -- to let go to the power of love.

At this stage of the game, it's a long shot he will, but what do I know? God can enter at any time. Grace can change a life in a heartbeat.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at October 9, 2016 11:48 PM


A heartwarming post, causing me of course, to remember my dear father now passed, but so often with me in spirit...I have learned that there is no time except for now...

Posted by: Dbirdey [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2016 12:04 PM

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