Rest In Peace, Dad

September 15, 2017

My dad and I didn’t have much in common. He loved politics, I detest it.

He could talk politics for hours and that enabled him and my wife to have long talks about politics and current affairs.

So, whenever I would visit, especially after he was rendered immobile by a stroke, she would make her way to his room and I could overhear them gabbing away about this and that.

Meantime, I kept my mother’s company, and engaged in another episode of she trying to convince me to accept Christianity and all the hocus-pocus that goes along with it.

When I was growing up, I feared my dad. He was this big powerful man but we barely ever spoke. He was too imposing and I simply kept out of his way.

As I grew up we tried to foster a father/son relationship but that never really happened. That ship had long sailed and I was content to let things remain as they were for the sake of both of us.

Build a relationship

When he first got ill about 20 years ago, I noticed that he tried in earnest to build a relationship with me. We would talk about cricket, one of the few things we had in common.

He would also marvel at how much I knew about track and field athletes across the world, and he was proud whenever he saw me on television talking about Jamaica’s performances at the Olympic Games and the World Championships.

I remember how animated he was after the 2008 Olympics as he gushed at how accurate my predictions were about what Usain Bolt and company would accomplish that year, the year I returned to Jamaica from a relatively brief sojourn abroad. He was actually proud of me.

As his condition worsened, he reached out more often and would call to have a chat with me on the phone and urged me to come visit.

In truth, my responsibilities at work prevented me from visiting as often as I wanted but I did visit when I could.

In those brief conversations we had, often interrupted by his mind drifting into a place that terrified him, I came to learn that this was his way of making up for the years we missed out on while I was growing up.

My dad died on Tuesday. He was 75. Twenty years of suffering had finally ended, and 20 years of trying to win his son over finally bore fruit. I miss him. Rest in Peace Albert Eleazer Levy.

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