he’s free.

I woke up around 3:30 in the morning yesterday feeling nauseous. I laid still, breathing deeply; the kind of breathing that I learned in yoga that calms my nerves and tummy. Finally, the feeling subsided and I went to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and went back to bed.

At 4:30, my phone rang. I hate it when my phone rings during the Do Not Disturb time, because it has to be a not-good thing. I knew it was my sister before I picked up. “His condition has gone downhill fast and they said we needed to call family.”

I turned on the light and Hank said my name. I choked out something like, “I need to go home.” He got up quickly and grabbed his computer to book a flight for me.

At 4:35, my sister called back.

“He’s gone.”

He’s gone. My Dad is gone.

I called my son.

“He’s gone.”

I wandered around and put the most random things in my suitcase. A sweater. (Not sure why. It’s September in Oklahoma.) Ten pairs of underwear. (I just kept putting them in.) My toothbrush. A tank top. A pair of pants. Cut my finger on my razor.

I sat down and dialed my sister.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“You need to come HOME,” she said.

Goddammit. I know that. I mean I don’t what to do.

I hung up the phone and took a shower. Hank made breakfast for me and got me a coffee. I ate. I drank. I went to wake up the boys.

I told them. There were tears, and through them, our 10 year old asked, “Is he happy?”


What a beautiful, gorgeous question.

“Yes, baby, I think so. His body wore out and now he’s free.”

He’s free.

circa. 1965, Iran gulf.