As he lay dying, my father’s request that I wear my service uniform to his funeral was as close as he’d ever come to saying he was proud of me.
Regardless of my accomplishments, his withering criticism during my teen years weighed on my adult mind. Did he still think I was the “dumbest man God ever put breath into”? My veterans’ readjustment therapist says it’s more about his lack of self-esteem than my adolescent failures.
As the nurse increases the morphine drip and his lucidity fades, my last chance to hear him say he loves me slips away as well.