Going through my late parents papers today trying to make sense of the final disorder of their lives, I can only say that I am sorry about a lot of things. Things both great and small and particularly incidental. Boxes I refused to get down from the top corner shelves buried in dust from neglect. Boxes that contained the heirlooms of my infancy that, no doubt, my mother wanted to see one last time as she approached her end. Boxes that I thought i had better things to do that day then disgorge all the others in front of them for in my folly I thought she must have several more years in her at least. That’s the thing about death, you deny its immediacy from your family as if you can hold back the waters of the ocean by just not admitting that it is wet.
So many bureaucratic forms that add up to more money than you could ever imagine them having welched away by the powers that be. Now when I think back to my poor old man struggling with his vision through glasses that much like mine were no longer sufficient to compensate for his vision. Vision that in his case was shifting into darkness as he struggled pathetically inefficient to make out figures and dates at a chair adjacent to the brightest table lamp in the house. I look through these piles of documents and wonder about all the anecdotes and associations that they must have kept in their heads. All the varied incidents of their lives, watersheds expressed in chapters of money borrowed, dispensed and eventually payed back at substantial interest. How the good life of former years suddenly abandoned them in their twilight years. Two vibrant energetic personalities respectively deposed to tottering old shadowy presences, hardly recognizable to the lost mental embodiment their former selves. Glimpses and phrases summoned occasionally forth in my own recollections then sinking just as quickly into the fog of imprecise memory.
And whenever I see an entry that is attributable to me my heart goes hollow and I feel shame. Those great enterprises of my own from former times that seemed fit sacrifice for myself and my family that now seems so empty and petty with their loss. I m sorry that I took even an infrequent dime as if in some way I robbed them of some measure of security and happiness. The last birthday card given to me by my father offering his contrition for a lifelong parting of opinions that honored me with his respect. I stand deflated before the piles of disassociated file folders wondering how i might have been a little more humble then as I have come to be left now. These papers however incompletely serve as a chronicle of both their lives as well as my own. If I could set them in stone, I would. But the world is built upon sand powered by the dust of the ages. All permanency is quickly eroded with the last mortal breath. They must sink from memory as their identities drift off into the ages. Entries, one of a kind, flown off into the wind, never to be repeated again.