The Last Conversation
This is where it started
I hated the place, knowing it was his last home, and his life was reduced to this one room. But as his physical body failed, my father had moved into a long-term care residence to get round-the-clock care. He didn’t seem to mind — always going with the flow — his mind and spirit intact.
During each visit, we resumed the conversation we began on the first day in his new place. Little did I know we would continue our final conversation for three years until the day before he died, just a few weeks short of his 99th birthday.
The conversation percolated in my mind for several months following his death, and when we went into the first pandemic lockdown and my world went quiet, I began to write. I didn’t have a plan, but I was spurred on by my father’s compelling stories, a desire to hold on to my memories, share what I have learned so far, and write about what it means to grow older with grace and courage.
Hell, I thought—I am older. I have reached a considerable age. I might as well write about what that means and so here I am.
While my writing has no overarching or unifying theme beyond what captures my thoughts and imagination at any given moment, it does have a departure point: my father’s life helped me to unravel my own stories. He showed me he went through intense trauma, but he survived and built something positive and optimistic out of the rubble.
In sharing my memories and preoccupations, I hope to be a small part of the age-old storytelling tradition and the handing down of stories from one generation to another. Stories connect us all, help us grasp lessons we can learn from one another, and offer comfort and solace to our fellow human beings. My father’s stories did all this for me, and now I want to carry on the tradition.
I hope you will join me as I unravel what it means to be A Considerable Age.