Word Wishes for Dillon, Wherever He May Be … by @jackaurquhart

©2013                                       390 words

“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”

Thornton Wilder (“Our Town”)

Dillon Tyler Urquhart, 1979--2013

Dillon Tyler Urquhart, 1979–2013

Dear Dillon; Dear Son,

I have always believed that words have power—the power to traverse great distances, the power to break or heal the human heart.  That is why, despite the events of last week, the dream from which there seems to be no waking, I set these few symbols loose in the ether hoping that I’ve not been mistaken all these years.  Hoping that somehow, some way, the meaning embedded in these modern-day digital hieroglyphics will find you where you are.  Wherever that may be.  And that they will bring solace.  To us both.

Dillon, I want you to know how profoundly you are loved.  Still.  And how many times we have all—your sister and Mom; your friends; your Daddy—wished you back again.  I want you to know how we’ve wished that the people who passed you in that Seattle park where you lay unconscious last Saturday could have recognized you as someone’s dear child—the longed-for consequence of your parents’ love, of all our hopes and dreams.  Not a nameless throwaway street person.  And I wish that you’d not been there at all, that the illness that caused you so much suffering over the years had not driven you to that desperate place.  And yes, Dillon, I want you to know that I wish I had done more to keep that from happening.  Because the father in me knows that there was.  More, that is.  Always more that could be done.  So I wish for your forgiveness, too.

But most of all I wish you to know what a privilege it was to be there when you took your first breath—and your last.  I wish you to know, as a dear friend has so eloquently written, that despite “the grooves of anxiety and worry that spun the record of [our] relationship…” I count it a gift to have been—to be—your Dad, and that I wish you whole and free at last from suffering, having awakened in some happier place.  And that if life is truly but a dream, then I wish someday to rouse there too.  And find you waiting.



About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in Washington State.
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4 Responses to Word Wishes for Dillon, Wherever He May Be … by @jackaurquhart

  1. marydpierce says:

    Oh, how the heart does break. A surgeon once told me that in the place where a bone breaks, it becomes stronger upon healing. I think the same goes for hearts.

  2. You do write so beautifully, Jack. There is nothing I can say except the same old platitudes – how sorry I am, how I wish things could have been different, how much I grieve with you.

  3. Linda Lou says:

    Beautiful and eloquent. So very sorry. Sending love your way.

    Linda (friend of Tobi’s)

  4. tersiaburger says:

    As parents we do our best. Our best is the actions that we take at a moment…As bereaved parents we will dig until we find something to feel guilty about. Be kind to yourself. You did your best.

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