A very touching story of Raphael Zahler.Death is always unexpected. Even terminally ill we hope that they will not die today. Maybe in a week. But not now and not today.
My father's death was even more unexpected. He left at the age of 27 years as several renowned musicians from the "Club 27". He was young, too young. My father was not a musician or a famous person. Cancer does not choose its victims. He left when I was 8 years old and I was already old enough to miss him all my life. If he had died earlier, I wouldn't have memories of my father, and I wouldn't feel any pain, but then in fact I wouldn't have a dad. Still, I remembered it because I was the father.
If he were alive, he would tell me jokes. Could kiss my forehead before I fell asleep. Forced me to root for the same football team, for which he was ill, and would explain some things much better mom.
He never told me he was going to die soon. Even when he was lying in a hospital bed with tubes all over her body, he didn't say a word. My father made plans for the following year, although he knew that he wasn't around in the next month. Next year we will go to fish, to travel, visit places that never were. Next year will be amazing. That's what we wanted.I think he believed that this attitude will attract me luck. To plan for the future was a way to keep hope.
He made me smile until the very end. He knew what was going to happen, but didn't say anything — he didn't want to see my tears.
One day my mother unexpectedly took me out of school and we went to the hospital. The doctor told the sad news with all the delicacy that he could muster. Mom cried, because she was still a tiny hope. I was in shock. What does it mean? Wasn't it just another disease that doctors can easily cure it? I felt betrayed. I screamed in anger, until he realized that his father is no longer there. And I started crying too.
Then something happened. With the box under my arm, I was approached by a nurse. This box was filled with sealed envelopes with some marks instead of the address. The nurse then handed me one letter from the box."Your father asked me to give you this box. He spent a whole week, until he wrote them, and would like you to now read the first letter. Be strong."
On the envelope was the inscription "When I'm gone"
. I opened it up.
If you're reading this, it means I'm dead. I'm sorry. I knew I was going to die.
I didn't want to tell you what's going to happen, I didn't mean to make you cry. I decided not to. I think that the person who is going to die has the right to act a little selfish.
I still have a lot to teach you. In the end, you don't know shit. So I wrote you these letters. Don't open them until the right moment, okay? That's our deal.
I love you. Take care of mom. Now you're a man in the house.
His crooked letter I could barely understand, calmed me down, forced smile. That's such an interesting thing my dad came up with.
This box has become the most important in the world for me. I told my mom that she didn't open it. The letters were mine and no one else could read them. I memorized all the names of the envelopes that I had yet to open. But it took a while to make these moments come. And I forgot about the letters.
Seven years later, after we moved to a new place, I had no idea what had happened to the box. I just flew out of my head, where she might be and I'm not really looking for her. Until one day, something happened.
Mom never remarried. I don't know why, but I would like to believe that my father was the love of her life. At that time she had a guy who was worth nothing. I thought she humbles himself to meet with him. He didn't respect her. She deserved someone much better than the guy she met in a bar.
I still remember the slap she gave me after I said the word "bar". I admit that I deserved it. When my skin was still burning from the slap, I remembered a box of letters, but rather a specific letter that was called "When you and mom will happen, the biggest fight"
I searched my bedroom and found a box inside the suitcase lying at the top of the wardrobe. I looked at the envelopes and realized that I forgot to open the envelope marked "When you have your first kiss." I hated myself for it and decided to open it later. In the end I found what I was looking for.
Now apologize to her.
I don't know why you had a fight and I don't know who is right. But I know your mom. Just apologize and that would be best.
She's your mother, she loves you more than anything in this world. Did you know that she gave birth naturally, because someone told her that it would be better for you? Have you ever seen a woman give birth? Or do you need more proof of love?Apologize. She will forgive you.
My father was not a great writer, he was a simple Bank clerk. But his words had a great influence on me. These were the words that carried more wisdom than all together 15 years of my life at the time.
I rushed into mother's room and opened the door. I cried when she turned to look me in the eye. I remember I went to her, holding a letter that my father wrote. She hugged me and we both stood in silence.
We made up and talked a bit about it. Somehow, I felt that he was sitting next to us. I, my mother and part my father, part of which he left for us on a piece of paper.
Some time passed before I read the envelope "When you lose your virginity"
Don't worry, it will eventually become better. The first time is always scary. My first time was with an ugly woman who also was a prostitute.
My greatest fear is that you ask mom, what is virginity after read this word.
My father followed me through my whole life. He was with me, despite the fact that died long ago. His words did what no one else could do: they gave me strength to overcome countless difficulties in my life. He always knew how to make me smile when everything looked grim, helped to clear the mind in moments of anger.
A letter "When you get married"
really excited me. But not as much as the letter "When you become a father"
Now you will understand what real love is, son. You will understand how much I love her, but real love is what you feel to this little establishment near you. I don't know if it's a boy or a girl.
The most painful letter I ever read was also the shortest of those that the father had written to me. Sure, at the time when he wrote these three words, the father suffered in the same way as I do. It took a while, but in the end I had to open the envelope "When your mother dies"
She's mine now.
Good sense of humor! It was the only letter that doesn't bring a smile to my face.
I always kept my promises and never read the letters ahead of time. With the exception of the letter "If you realize that you're gay"
. It was one of the funniest letters.
What can I say? Glad I'm dead.
Jokes aside, but on the verge of death, I realized that we care too much about things that don't matter much. You think that's gonna change anything, son?
I was always waiting for the next moment, the next letter is another lesson, which the father will teach me. Amazing what 27-year-old man can teach the 85-year-old man what I've become.
Now, when I'm lying in a hospital bed, with tubes in his nose and throat, due to this damned cancer, I move my fingers on faded paper are the only letters that have not yet had time to open. The sentence "When your time comes"
I can barely read on the envelope.
I don't want to open it. I'm afraid of. I don't want to believe that my time is near. No one believes that, one day, will die.
I take a deep breath, opening the envelope.
Hello, son. I hope that you are old.
You know that letter I wrote first and it was easy for me to all. This is a letter that freed me from the pain of losing you. I think that the mind is clearer when you're so close to the end. It's easier to talk about it.
Last days here, I thought about my life. She was short, but very happy. I was your father and husband of your mother. What more could I ask? It gave me peace of mind. Now you do the same thing.
My advice for you: don't be afraid.published
P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©