When I was a very young boy, maybe four or five years old, my parents and I went to the beach. I had a beach ball I loved to play with and it was blown into the ocean and began to drift away, offshore. My father, my young father, jumped into the water and started to swim into the ocean to bring it back to me.
I can remember feeling absolute panic, because I was afraid he wouldn’t return. He kept swimming and swimming into deeper water to get my beach ball and he got smaller and smaller the farther out he swam. I was admittedly not very tall, but it looked like he was going to disappear over the horizon. I couldn’t see him anymore.
He came back with my beach ball but all I cared about was him. He had come back to me.
My mother called me yesterday morning and said that she thought my Dad had died in his sleep. The paramedics were in the house. I grabbed the first plane and flew to be with my mother and family.
My father is alive, but barely. He is in a medically induced coma and we can only wait. I don’t know if he is coming back this time.