My First Love 

My First Love

It is hard to leave him behind 

To walk away from the man that held me 

As a baby and also as an adult 

He is hooked up to machines 

That do the work for him

More time for word searches

Some days are better than others

Today he does his best

His face lights up when I visit him 

He mentions that he is a proud Anishnabek man

Like his father

His best friend

I tear up

I apologize for crying 

He tells me that it’s okay to cry 

I try to remember all of his stories

To reflect on his wisdom and humor 

He talks about when he lived in Nanaimo 

About how beautiful it is out west 

The smell of the Pacific ocean 

He closes his eyes 

So that he can see the mighty trees 

I hear him inhale so that can smell the west coast air

We are there

He shows me how big the trees are in British Columbia 

He shows me his wood carvings and of his oil paintings 

Big and bold

West coast style

His own flair with every chip and stroke 

He is an artist 

A husband

A Papa 

A father 

My father 

Good with his hands 

He built the house we grew up in 

A home for his family 

He is a tender soul 

Laying in this hospital bed

Thinking about yesterday and tomorrow

Not thinking about new heart medication 

Or of the Mountain Dew and sugary drinks that get him in trouble

He thinks about his buddy Jack, a Jack Russel and of the grandbaby at home 

He hates spending Christmas in the hospital 

Next year he wants to be at home for the holidays 

And to play in the snow outside 

“Have I been a ‘good dad'” he asks. 

I look into his eyes and tell him,

“You are the best Dad I’ve ever had.

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