Saturday, June 02, 2007

For everything there is a season ...

Shotgun Toter told me her father had passed away last month after a relatively short battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease a short while before my uncle died from it. We don't talk nearly as much as I'd like since moving away after high school, but circumstances have made this unfortunate arrangement unavoidable. Although I still consider her one of my best friends, I never got to meet her father in the time that I've known her. From what I gathered, he was not an entirely pleasant character: a hardened soul, a some-time raging tyrant, but a proficient lifelong provider. I never met the man. This distant, yet looming, presence that nefariously infiltrated my adolescent years with Shotgun Toter spent visiting thrift shops and telling surreal jokes at the library. I remember when she used to recount, in her oft-detached demeanor, his impossible outbursts and the subsequent threats that soon followed.

Shotgun Toter told me two nights ago that shortly before her father died, he sent her an email detailing how "proud he was" of her and expressed concern over his younger daughter, the troublesome "favourite". One can only guess why he decided to write that letter. Perhaps he was a relic from a different time, a generation that had little reverence for sentimentalism. Shotgun Toter visited him in the hospital until the end. Whether or not any hatchets were buried between them can only be surmised; it's not my place to ask.

The complexities of losing a parent cannot be understood without a Faustian trade.

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