Night, Pop

’Night Pop, it’s your watch. I’m headed out,” I say aloud. Though it’s been three years since he died, I still do this sometimes at the end of my office day, and especially when it’s been a long hard one. I lean over the forward hatch of the model of Phyllis and peer down and say good night to Dad. I know he’s there, or some of him anyway, inside a silver thimble which serves as an urn and sits on a bunk in the miniature forward cabin of the model sailboat he built. When he had finally finished it, having worked in painstaking detail over the three years while Mom was bedridden and dwindling to nothing, he’d said to me: “Don’t know about what your mother wants, but I put a tiny thimble down there in the forepeak for me. Put a few of my ashes in it after I’m gone, will you pal? It’s a finishing touch that I can’t possibly do.”

And then he laughed, in spite of it all.*

* (from the Preface of my next book)

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