Eschatological Group

Eschatological Group

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Written By: Hector Rivera

Beep...beep whoosh. Beep...beep, whoosh. That sound has been my companion for these last two months. My last two months in a hospital room. My last two months in a hospital bed.
For most of my life I can't say I ever hated anything as much as words unsaid and this evil bed that I currently reside in. It's just not the kind of bed you want to die in. One would hope that death would come on billowy sheets made of clouds. One could even pray that termination could arrive with an enormous thread count of lush vivid dreams.
Beep...beep, whoosh. Beep...beep, whoosh.
Did Death have to come on a bed that leaves bruises? Did it have to come when I had so much left to say? My own father. A devout catholic, as strong as the brick and plaster of an ancient gothic cathedral. As pliant as one too. Don't get me wrong though. I love the man. He is and will always be my father. My father has taught me a great many things. Like the time he taught me that even on my own mother's death bed a man must never be who he is not.
"You know Pop, I've been thinking...I want to give the last rights to mom before she goes."
"Number one, your not a priest David. Number two it's not your place..."
"How dare you say that to me." I said it low and out of gas the way you say things after the longest day of your life.
"Mom never agreed with how you saw things."
"So typical...for some kid soaking wet behind his ears to judge. Do you know what I sacrificed to give you a life?! Do you know all the days I bled for you and for her?! Just to put food on the table?! Damn you! You have always resented me!!"
Beep...beep, whoosh.
I am so wealthy as I rot in my cot in this hospital. Nothing but all the things I said wrong to keep me company. All my acquaintances are now every one of my misunderstandings and rushes to judgment. My failures are my furniture.
I didn't make it easy for him though. I was as bullheaded as he was. A chip off the old super structure. He was a catholic and I read like a protestant. He liked the Yankees and I was a red sox fan. You catch my drift? I didn't make it easy on him and so we drifted apart like to sail boats in a calm blue sea. We drifted slowly away from each other.
It was Mom's cancer that made me show my face again. That woman put up with our bickering for years and like any good Christian woman , she suffered with all the stoic grace God could lend. My Mother, now resting in the arms of Jesus waiting for the day of judgment to live eternally in the new Jerusalem. My father , too concerned about finishing up the funeral arrangements he didn't have time enough to consider that I might want to give the last rights to a woman who helped me in leaps and bounds to my salvation.
There I go again. Wasting my time on anger. I can count the breaths I have left and I'm that foolish enough to waste it on bitterness.
Beep...beep, whoosh.
Long story short, here I am counting the days until my death. I sent my father a letter. I told him how long I had left. I wonder if this is how a man feels when he is on death row. They get one dying wish right? Or is it the last meal of their choosing? Hard to tell. The morphine doesn't help me focus. Well, anyhow I sent word to him of my dying wish. I don't have much time left and all I want near me is the warmth of love. I am too weak to hold my bible for myself. Reading the words of life always sent me back to the days of my mother still playing the peace maker between my father and me. Reading those words gave me hope and peace and love all in one. This damn cancer is eating me alive and I have lost all of my strength. I am a pitiful thing to behold.
Beep...beep, whoosh.
I pray my father will get my letter and he will come to me and read to me. My father wasn't always so gruff. Before I started to rebel we were best buddies. We had high adventures together. Before I questioned his authority I dreamed of the bed time stories he would read to me. My favorite stories were the ones he made up off the top of his head. I remember one in particular about a miner out west who armed with his trusty pick found the ancient city of Shangri-La. They called him black Bart on account of his black beard and bushy black eyebrows. My father told me though that when he came back from seeing all the wonders of the cave all his hair turned white. White as snow he said. He needed a new nickname and everything. What was that nickname my daddy gave him? he he. Snowflake I think it was. Yeah that was it...snowflake.
I woke up today with a lot of pain. They keep giving me morphine and something tells me that is not a good sign. I keep coughing and hacking. It's hard to breathe today. My vision is blurring in and out. I black out and hours have passed me that I never attempted to race. Everything has the tinge of a shadow behind it. I believe another day has passed or maybe it was ten years. My vision is worse today. My breathing is shallow. I'm lonely. I miss my mom. I hear a voice. It must be God...
"Hello Son. I got your letter. I love you. I can't say it enough. I love you my sweet, sweet boy. Forgive me David. You and your mother were right...about everything. I remember everyday. Every second with you. I'm so proud of you."
"I love you Daddy."
"I love you too son. I have your mother's bible with me. I was going to read to you if that's ok?" He said this like a little boy.
"Thank you Daddy."
"Your mother had this marked. Ye that love the lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” (Psalm 97:10-12)

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