Everett H Fleming

Dear Dad,

It's been 20 years today since you, too, left us. Such a shock. First Mom, then you--gone six days later. The speculation.

Months later, I watched a video you took of Mom and yourself on a trip. You could hardly catch your breath to speak. You were slowly drowning, dying yourself, but you kept on. To take care of Mom until the end.

I wish I could hit the reset button with us. Get a do-over. We tapped maple trees together. You taught me to fish, to grow plants, drive a tractor, to know the planets and constellations. To love the soil of our land and its smell on my skin mixed with the sun. I know you loved me.

I could help you now. I couldn't then. And for that, I'm deeply sorry. You wanted nothing more than love and admiration to submerge your sadness. You were admirable, hard-working, and an honest man. You did good things. Do you hear me?

Love,

Julie


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