Obligation that Heals

I admit.

There are moments when I don’t feel like obligation.

There are times when I’m exhausted and prefer to do nothing.


I admit.

When these moments set in I think about dad.

I don’t feel guilty, I just feel bad that at his old age he’s alone.


Not literally, but yes, he is alone.

I took him out to lunch today.

Although it was brief and quiet, I was happy to sit with him.


I admit.

I almost didn’t call him.

But then I thought about my duty.


I am glad I called.

I had all afternoon to do nothing.

Obligation is not right or wrong.


For me, it just is.

It’s an opportunity to pay back gratitude and appreciation.

It’s kindness and compassion.


As a child, I do believe I have obligations to fulfill no matter what.

In no way does my father expect such an obligation.

It’s what I believe as a daughter I should do.


I admit.

The obligation does put me to test at times.

But it’s short lived.


This is a call of duty that I like doing.

Its effects are self-healing.

With healing there is always comfort.





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Chapter 2

Bless my father’s big heart!

The last thing he wants is to be a burden to his children.

Little does he realize how blessed it makes me feel,

That he calls on me when he needs company.


“Only if you feel like, otherwise it’s no problem.”

I guess he does not want me to feel obligated.

I told him to meet me at the neighborhood mall just before noon.

It’s crowded on a Sunday and I want to be sure he is not kept waiting.


There are Sundays that I like to spend alone.

I like doing nothing or doing errands that are not urgent.

I like my silence.

I was looking forward to this Sunday to unwind.


For a moment I hesitated.

Quickly I realized how precious time is with dad.

I gave myself a gentle slap on my face to snap out of my rigidity.

Today would be a good day to ask him about traveling.


He ate well over lunch.

I popped the question about travel.

He says he can take the length of the journey.

He just gets bored on the plane.


It’s seems like a toss up between California and Japan.

I laid out the pros and cons.

While Japan is only a few hours away, dialysis may be tough.

Plus moving around is not as simple as it seems.


After the long journey to California it gets easier.

Santa Monica, Ca. has three dialysis centers in the area.

Very close to where we intend to stay.

Plus the weather in July will be sunny by day and cool at night.


“Let me think about it, I will let you know.”

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Silence or Resignation?

I visited dad today.



What does it mean?

He was not in a bad mood.


Just silent.

Sitting comfortably in his chair.


Staring blankly at the television.

Waiting for time to pass.


I ask a question.

I get just one simple answer.


The noise from the television relieves the pressure of silence.

He fidgets around and gets dressed.


I ask another question.

I get another simple answer.


I notice he’s lost weight.

The help notice it too.


At age 88, there’s no way he’s going to undergo anything major.

His dialysis three times a week is all he will accept.


His silence is nothing new.

In younger and better days, he was not much a talker.


When the family gets together, he remains silent.

He used to joke around but no longer shows interest.


It has become quite difficult for those who wish to engage in small talk with him.

Don’t take it personally if you’re given a cold shoulder or a blank stare.


His birthday is in 10 days.

We have a family dinner all planned out.


My father was just a young teenager during WW2.

I think this is where the silence stems from.


My aunt saw her entire family killed by the Japanese.

She eventually wrote a book and let it all out.


I recall my father saying he and his father were in hiding.

The Japanese found them and almost killed my father.


His father pleaded, saying he was a sick boy.

The Japanese eventually withdrew the gun pointed at my father.


Dad’s silence is evident.

In my own silence I wonder if it really is just silence or resignation.




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I agree, Stephen. It's the simple things.
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