I was born in 1963, 8 days after JFK was assassinated. This is one of my earliest memories. My Mother told me, everyone could remember where they were, exactly what they were doing and the whole world cried. That and when we landed on the moon in 1969. We had taken our first tentative steps off of our planet and landed on another world. All of humanity celebrated. There were 2.5 billion human souls on our precious Earth at that time and no one had the foggiest idea of the internet or what a personnel computer would even look like.
I also remember Christmas and Easter, Sunday School and Church, so very vividly. We were a good Catholic family. My father was suffering with Multiple Sclerosis, having himself removed around Easter, 1967 because he could not bear it anymore. He had lost the ability to speak and walk at the same instant in time. When he lost his sight, he could not bear to have his wife and 2 little boys see him in such a state, so he had himself put into a ‘rest home’, they called it at the time, in northern Quebec.
I can remember running through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal on my way home from my first day of kindergarten. I had left by myself, the teacher asking me, ‘was I not supposed to wait for my mother or someone else to take me home?’, she inquired. Nonsense, I said, I live almost across the street. I strolled out the door, the teacher still a little hesitant, as I pointed to some poor unsuspecting woman, there’s my MA, right over there. Okay she said, Go, looking relieved to have this inquisitive boy, asking to many questions, to be gone from her charge.
Haha!, I thought, walking down the sidewalk, past the woman, running around a corner, I wondered, where, exactly , is home?
I remember, how, my father,(who knew he was dying), had been fortunate enough to find a, they where still called ‘rest homes’, in a town close to where we lived.
It was just before Easter 1976, and we were visiting my father in the rest home. His sight had returned but he looked so frail, so shruken, struggling to breath, ( he was on a respirator), the end drawing ever so close, I thought, soon Dad, you will not have to suffer much longer.
It was Easter Sunday, 1976, and we are visiting my father at the rest home and I know, my Dad won’t make it through the night. I see him laying there, struggling, never complaining, and I think, soon, soon, it will be over. My father died later on that Easter Sunday night, finally releasing him from the prison of his broken body.
It is Easter Sunday, 2016, in the year of our Lord and I know, if I think, I can feel my father, his energy, surrounding me. I know he is finally at peace.