Yesterday, outside my window, a mockingbird sang. Early this morning, in a lonely corner, my house phone rang. I let it ring and ring, while looking out the window, hoping to hear any bird sing.
In hopes the caller would give up, I continued to let the phone ring. He didn’t hang up. Dad knew I was home. His instructions were clear. I knew what to bring. The time had come to keep my word. The promise I made him in the presence of a lively mockingbird.
On that day, as the mockingbird sang, with his weak voice, he said, “There is no better way, to spend my last day. Please hold my hand, until you feel my last breath. The pain I feel now, may be worse than death.”
In a crackling voice, he went on to say, “Son, I am dying. There is no sense in crying. When the time comes, I need you to be strong. I need to know you’re going to be okay, after I am gone.”
I once thought he moved to Oregon to be close to mom, his one and only bride. He confessed that long ago, he decided on assisted suicide. He chose me, his only son, to be by his bedside. As painful as this was, his wish was something that could not be denied.
After countless rings, I answered the phone. In a soft and weak whisper, he said, “It’s time. Please come alone.”
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