My father died nearly thirty years ago from Motor Neurone Disease. We were all robbed of our future with him. He was a wonderful father, a gentle soul and my Moms best friend. Today I remember my Dad as I write an imagined letter to a loved one, written within the mind of someone unable to move or speak.
The idea for this came from a facebook writing group I am a part of called ‘Imagine, Write, Inspire. One of our challenges this week was to write a love letter, and a fellow contributor further challenged us to perhaps write from a male perspective. The seeds were sown and I wrote this imaginary letter.
I must however point out, that even though this letter is poignant,and inspired by my fathers illness, it would be unfair to either my Mom or Dad to have you believe we lived my fathers illness in misery. Quite the opposite in fact. We laughed all the time together, and greatly enjoyed every moment he was a part of our lives.
However I wonder if perhaps there were a few moments I didn’t witness, such as this one.
My darling Sue
As I lie trapped within this body I think of the letter I would wish to write you. My darling did we ever think it would come to this, that I in my fifties, would be struck down by such a disease as MND?
Today as always you breeze into our bedroom pretending all is well. You chat with me, and fill me in on the mornings news. I listen as you tell me who phoned and what you chatted about. Then I hear your voice fade. I can sense you by my side, but it is not until you stand over me that I can see you.
Oh my dearest, there is such pain in your beautiful dark eyes. What a sight I must be, curled up as if a child in the foetal position, my limbs cemented this way. Am I drooling? Darling please forgive me if I am?
Earlier I heard you argue with Jessica, doors were slammed, two like minded souls who regularly find themselves on opposing sides. Do you know above all our children, when I watch Jessica walking about the room I see you my dearest. I see you in the way she smiles, in the way she laughs and in her strength, and looking at her it is as if the hands of our clock are turned back thirty years. During my days of endless hours, I lie here and I remember Christmas 1954 when we walked hand in hand in Herbert Park. I took a deep breath and asked you to be my wife, and without hesitation you accepted. July 1956 our first borns arrival the first of the five. How blessed were we? As the hours pass my dear this is how I spend my time. Remembering so many wonderful moments from our life, before…
Oh my darling Sue, what I wouldn’t give to speak to you once more. What would I say if I could have just one more conversation alone with you? I think it would be safe to assume I would tell you that I loved you, with all my heart. That you, my darling, were without doubt the love of my life. I would tell you how much I have enjoyed our thirty years, and the many days and nights we laughed together.
I can feel your despair today Sue, as you sit beside me holding my hand. My heart feels as if it may truly break. I hear you, stifling your sobs. Please darling don’t cry. You lower your face and pick up my useless hand, I feel your warm skin against my frozen, clawed fingers. What I wouldn’t give to open those fingers and caress your cheek. I am helpless as I feel your tears fall against my skin. Please Sue hold my hand there a while longer.
You move so I can look into your eyes once more. As I gaze at you, your tears spill over. You lean over and place your face close to mine, cheek to cheek. I close my eyes and inhale your perfume. I hear you sob,
“Oh Sean, my darling, I love you so”
Hearing you sob I feel my own tears falling. They are for you my beautiful Sue, for I know you can never hear the words I speak in my heart to you each day. So many letters such as this, written for you, but never read by you.
So instead my darling I will send you my tears which I hope can tell you all that I cannot.