fourth of nine I was nineteen years young when he asked me to stay he went “back home” and got a young wife knew he would pass before her asked me again when I was twenty three crediting my older brothers as having lives of their own I guess he thought I wasn’t entitled to mine
at first resentful feeling trapped unfairly especially since I was never a favored child but ended up not minding obligation’s onus appreciating her more in her elderly fragility realizing a caretaker’s privilege even underneath the family’s unappreciative eyes
when he had his “fatal” heart attack I’m glad I was there to administer CPR but I carry the question always did I really help him? or did I prolong his suffering for two and a half months?
after awakening from semi comatose’s state his memory was in and out some were upset by his lack of recognition but he never forgot me and in that I take solace
he reiterated his wish on his deathbed like an anointing its oil poured upon my forehead and radiating inside me he thought I was good enough and equal to the task
I’ll never forget his final words a barely audible muttered plea that I figured out later he raised his eyebrows and nodded with a seemingly joyful expression as if we had an agreement he closed his eyes and went to sleep