But Adam filled that void, and a need I’d had, but never realized. Quickly he forced his way into my life, first as my friend, then suddenly becoming so much more. He and his family had shown me what a real family was supposed to be. My father’s illness was giving me my own sense of family for a short time, but I wasn’t sure I would ever really see my dad as my father again. He’d so easily thrown everything away to save himself from my mother’s grief. Dad was simply the name I’d learned to call him. The deeper I delved within myself, I realized that it probably couldn’t be much more than just a name.
During our conversation, Adam helped me to see that the time I had with my father now wasn’t about fixing some bond we once had. No, that bond had never really formed to begin with. It finally dawned on me that the anxiety I’d felt over my father’s illness hadn’t been about me leaving or feeling like I’d abandoned him, but had been from a deep–seeded fear that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself. I’d done all I could to forgive him, and though I would never forget, my forgiveness had been granted that first day I came home to see him.
Now, our time together had to be about making my father’s final days on earth as peaceful and easy as possible, about helping him to forgive himself so that he could move on from this life free from any guilt or hatred he might have toward himself.