Page 12 - Father Earth, Daughter Sky

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Father Earth, Daughter Sky
around him during the week, grateful that he seemed
peaceful and free of pain.
What would happen to all of us? Would I see a white
cloud emerge from his body as he took his last breath?
Was his spirit already somewhere else? Would he send
me a message? Would he communicate something to
me so that I could be certain he was still “here” with me?
All day, I kept the vigil of holding his hand. I didn’t
want to let go of the father who made me feel loved,
supported, and nurtured all of my life. I thought that
since he had taken such great care of himself physically,
mentally, and spiritually, he would outlive all of us. I
memorized the shape of his hand as if I could use that
as a keepsake image the rest of my life. I reflected on our
special moments together. From all the memories that
surfaced, the times in nature were the most meaningful
and memorable: the time he carried me half way down
Mt. Washington in the rain when I was six years old; the
winter day when I was sixteen, the schools were closed,
and we drove to a state park to hike in the snow and icy
wonderland of Cedar Falls; and the time I woke him be-
fore daybreak for a hike along a wooded ridge top just
to watch a sunrise together. I’m certain it was how he
would want to be remembered, because those were his
dearest and most treasured times . . . in nature.
His breathing didn’t stop until I left his room. That