Yesterday my father came very close to being killed in accident involving the felling of a large oak on his bush lot. He came within three inches of instant death. This is a man with over twenty years of experience cutting down treesóan unseen deadfall snagged the oak and spun it towards him in a heartbeat. He came away with some ligament damage and shock but will recover quickly.
Iím still processing this event in the back of my mind. Normally I donít dwell too much on things that didnít happen, but in this case I canít seem to avoid the thoughts. I could hear it in his voice: the grim reaper had turned and smiled at himóa brief flirtation. Iím still not absolutely clear what this event means to me. I may decide tomorrow that itís meaningless.
But Iíve been thinking. Iíve been thinking all day about people in my life, family, friends and lovers who have reached out to me in one way or another. Iíve been thinking both about the newcomers and those who make up the backbone of my past. What do these people mean to me and what do I mean to them? How long will I feel connected to all of them? Are there people out there missing me? Have I really earned their affection or is it all just circumstance?
Thereís the meat of it I guess. If I was to lose someone out of this web of connections and dependencies and sympathy and similarity would I be overwhelmed with regret over real or imagined failings. Was I there for you? Have I been a good son, brother, father, friend or lover?
Did I ever really tell you all that I love you?