To The Urn That Holds My Father’s Ashes

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You held him before I even knew it was an option. Before my age even transitioned to double digits, you were closer to him than I ever could have been. And though you and he are not the same, you are the only tangible thing I have to represent him; in other words, you are the only thing I have to be angry at, or to cry over. My hellos and goodbyes, are only able to be whispered to a cold, metal, airtight asylum. And for an eight year old girl, that was hard to understand. It still is, eleven years later.

 

With so many questions that have gone unanswered, I can’t help but wonder if we were even alike at all. Did you love the way the air tasted after the rain washed the asphalt clean? Did you even have a favorite color or a favorite song to sing to me when I slept? It’s so hard to understand what I meant to you, or if I meant anything at all. Eight months. That’s all the time I got to spend with you. If you can even count the forgotten pleasantries of infancy. Funny how the memories of your childhood can be so easily washed away without your consent.

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So now I sit here, staring at an urn that holds my dead father. And the saddest part isn’t that he passed away. The saddest part is that I don’t know if I’m upset about it, or enraged. I don’t know if I’m angry about him leaving me behind. I don’t know if I’m angry about him never calling me or writing a single letter. I don’t even know if I’m angry with him for not trying to find me when my mother took my brother and me away. All I know is that if he was here, I would be writing him a different letter. I would write him a letter about all of the things a father would want to hear from his daughter.

 

And then it would list all of the reasons why they wouldn’t mean anything to him.

 

~ Elaura Ligon | Edited By Afreen Zeb

 


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