January 22, 2009
I received a call from my mother. A terrible call, a call that disturbed me from my core.


“Hey. It’s mom.” I heard an emotionless voice through the phone. “I have some things to say. I owe you and your brother an explanation. But mostly to you.” My heart sank.


“Listen, today, a tragedy took place. And I cannot say it’s not my fault. I’m sorry, so, so, so sorry. Your father died.” My heart sank and my eyes burned, but I held my pain and tears inside. “Before you say anything, I just want to say. It was a suicide. And he left a suicide note for the each of us. I sent yours and Parker’s today; it should be there maybe tomorrow. I’ll read you mine.” I didn’t want to hear it, yet I did at the dame time, I urged my tears to stay inside.

“ ‘Dear Lana, Why? Why did you go and do that? I loved you so much. Since the moment I knew you I loved you, and every moment after that until now. Why? At that faithful day of our wedding, when we were bound together for eternity in matrimony, I felt relief, and I can see that your eyes were pure with love. And at that moment we said ‘I do’ we were forever bound together. Is my love not enough? You’ve always been the one to tell me, that I we don’t communicate. But how can I speak to you when you’re having an affair with another man. When the love I’ve supplied for you has been wasted. How can I even look at you? You want to know how I knew? The same way Savannah knew. The same way Parker knew. They found a recent, a very recent, love letter. And she came to me, tears flowing from her cute but mature eyes, she wrapped her arms around me and sobbed, he followed behind her, his usually pure eyes now filled with empty hate and fury, he sat down on the ground and stared at the ground. She had a piece of paper in her hand. When I asked her why she was crying, she showed me the betrayal displayed in the letter. That was when I found out. Now you know. Since that day, I was unable to commute with you both physically and emotionally. I was unable, I was weak, and I’m sorry for it. I was hoping over the years you would stop, that you would one day be satisfied with your patient husband. But slowly, you became undeserving. You took advantage of my love, the love that I gave and never took back while you gave your heart up to a various men.

‘When we moved from Thunder Bay, I wanted to stay with our dear Parker and Savannah, I was able to understand their pain and need to escape you. But I came with you. I chose to stay with you, and see if it were possible for your heart to start over, and accept me again. But over and over you crushed my dreams. I never got it. I never got my love repaid to me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not saying this is your fault. I just feel sorry that you had to do that. I don’t blame you. I’m not dying for you. I’m dying for me. I’m dying for the utter peace I will be in at that moment of death. I’m a sad, sad old man. And, Lana, I will always love you. I always will, no matter how much you’ve given me up and stopped loving me. I will always love you. I want to my ashes to be spread at Thunder Bay, down by the beach. I hope you join me at Thunder Bay one day, where our love story really began. I’m sorry I’ve turned you into my widow. But I’m happy. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ll be thinking of you as I die. Much Love, Keith’” I heard her sob as she continued, “I hope you enjoyed that. I love you Savannah. I never knew you knew. I’m sorry I exposed you to it. And I’m a terrible mother, a failure as a mother. I should never have tried. I’m sorry.” She cried and cried, as my tears never came. My nose became red, and my eyes stung, but I didn’t let them show. I wouldn’t let them come out.

It is not okay to cry. It’s not okay. Don’t cry. Be strong for him. It’s not okay to cry! All morning I sat in my chair, staring out the window and not even thinking. I hugged my knees to my chest as Parker came in and kneeled by my feet.

“Savannah. Come on. This isn’t healthy. At least we know he died happy.” He said gently.

“Is that all we can hope for, for our last thought to be a happy one? We can’t hope for anything else, can we? Not for it to painless or easy, just for our mind to generate us a happy thought? That’s all we can expect, isn’t it?” I asked, my mind already knowing the answer. Reluctantly, Parker nodded. I nodded and continued staring at the morning sky.

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk at the beach, remembering the fun times we’ve had there with dad. My toes sunk into the sand, and I felt the cool sand sink in between them. We sat at the waters, my white linen dress blowing in the gentle wind with my hair as the tide rose and washed over our feet. We sat there for hours, but it only seemed like the tick of a second. But soon enough, people have come and gone, the tides came up and gone down, the sun switching from blazing to gently shining to the now, beautiful color it’s creating as it make’s it’s grand exit, the warm breeze turning into a chilling wind. Parker scooted closer to me and wrapped his arm around me, enveloping me in the nice warmth that I felt whenever he was around. I felt him peel his jacket off later on and slip it around my shoulders. We sat there as the cold winds swirled around and blowing my hair around. As another gust of wind blew, I held his coat to myself when I felt something in the pocket. I stuck my hand inside curiously and pulled it out. It was a letter. It was addressed from my father, to me. I read the messy writing aloud while Parker’s relaxed face turned toward me and tensing.

“ ‘Dear Savannah, You were the one who told me everything I ever knew. You were the one who argued with me on every point I made. I would say Titanic was a cheesy love story, and you would say that it’s the best romance film ever made. I said you needed to go to university before you write, and you start writing and publishing. You were always fighting back, but I fell in love with you. I loved you instantly. Your heart shone out to me. They say that eyes are the windows to your soul. I feel like your eyes are beyond that. You’re piercing eyes; they stare and glare; yet when I look into them, all I see is the damaged soul you possess. My heart went out for you. I love you. Your heart’s every imperfection, and every bad habit you have, every one of them appeal to me in a way you cannot imagine. Deciphering your mind is one of my greatest pleasures. And I came forth, holding on to my soul for dear life and shielding you from my damage. But the moment you saw me, you saw it. You saw the damaged demeanor hidden in my heart, and you healed it. Yet, years ago, as we moved away, I left yours fending for itself. And still, I cannot forgive myself. No matter how much time heals, it was unacceptable. No matter how much time passed and how much we’ve been through, I will never be okay with it. I let you heal me as I left yours in worse condition. I’m sorry. And I’m repaying you with my love, and I’m handing the last of my love to you. I love you, and—believe me, because there is no way I’m lying—I love you forever honey. You are forever my most clever and most pained daughter. I love you Savannah. Don’t blame your mother. I lived unhappy, yet when at the moment of death, or even now, as I write this letter, I can feel my burden lightening, and contentment being pumped out by my very rhythmic heart. Death will be good for me. Please scatter me at the beach as you read this when the day comes. You will always be in my mind.” I felt my bottom lip tremble as my voice trailed off into a barely auditable whisper that began with a loud boom. A tear strained to burst from my forever over-emotional eyes.

“How did you know?” I asked myself, but at the same time, asking my father. My voice only a whisper now, “How did you know how damaged I felt? I never told you before. I never told anyone.” I looked away, unable to think about his all knowing face and knowledgeable eyes. I flipped to the next page.

“ ‘I know you are right now asking how I knew. How I knew how damaged you felt. I love you Savannah, how could I not know? How could I even say that without truly knowing about you? How can I be your father without knowing so? How can I love you without knowing your independent side, your beautiful side, your immature side, that totally dominant over-emotional side, and your vulnerable side? No one else knows about it, but I do. Since you were little Savannah, you never spoke about it, though you always knew it. You always knew it yet you never told anyone. Your mother was having an affair, and I knew about it yet I always held my tongue. You wanted to let all your suffering drown inside you like your silly old father. And I always knew it. I can see it in your eyes Savannah. I can tell because I love you. You grew up to people telling you that they love you. You grew up to your mother telling me so, when she was out with another man. But you believe me don’t you? Honey, I love you. And, it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to cry. As I write this, I am crying, tears are leaking from my eyes and dropping on this letter at this moment. Always remember this, remember that I love you. Love, Dad.’” I nodded, letting my head bobble. I pursed my lips and let the misery come out. The misery that I’ve held in my heart for all these years, now out in the open. I’ve even hid it from my mind. I couldn’t even think about it. I glanced at Parker and I saw that he was crying, he wept with a certain fierceness that I’ve never seen in his eyes ever. I leaned into Parker, he embraced me, hugging my head into his chest, and I dug it deeper, hiding my face. I sobbed. I sobbed and sobbed, my tears soaking his shirt as my hand clenched into a fist and squeezed him closer to me.

“It’s okay to cry.”

“Why, why, why, why? Why? Why did she do that?” I yelled through my sobs into him over and over as I cried. His hands held me tightly as I sobbed. As my tears fell from my eyes and I felt like no more can come, my voice just kept screeching, my raspy voice yelping fiercer than ever. I cried for my father’s death, I cried for the betrayal my father coped with, I cried for my loss of him, I cried and cried, for every single element of him. I cried for every bone in my body, and every cell in my brain, for every time my heart has beat and every hair on my head. I cried for hundreds of thousands of reasons and I didn’t feel like I was ever able to let this go. I never cried like this. Not when I found that note, not the day my grandmother died or the time when my pet had to be put down. I never cried like this, it was as if I was crying for every sad thing that’s ever happened to me. I screamed and yelled, sending tremors through my body as Parker held me. His eyes became fiercely sad and his arms became comforting and available. Images of my father flashed through my mind, him smiling, him angry, him upset, his frustrated face, his expression of despair, his shocked and hurt expression when I showed him the note and the last one I saw. His happy and excited expression, tears flowing from each of his eyes as he led me down the aisle and handed me to Parker. Parker held me close to him, rocking me back and forth as I sat with him in the sand. The sky became black to come mourn with me and the stars came out to witness, to bring some light and purity into this tragic event. And I just lay there, my body limp from crying for so long and my voice hoarse from the hours of crying and yelling. I fell asleep in Parker’s arms, my head lightening and being filled with my father’s face.

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