Indigo Blue - Anonymous

Original artwork by Ben Kolesar

Original artwork by Ben Kolesar

We are in a sunset season with Dad …and sunsets can be beautiful. I have a ready image of a Pacific sunset with its tints of orange, red, blue and purple over a vast ocean. In the late sunset, though, is another color: indigo blue. Almost black, but still blue.

I came into these two days asserting that there will be a time to grieve once it’s dark, but we’re not there yet. I think I still believe it. Over 24 hours I saw glimpses of brilliant orange and vibrant red. But the indigo shone vividly.

It's been eight months since I last saw Dad. I've talked with him just about every week, but this is my first time in his presence since the diagnosis. I've heard his sermon on why he can still drive without hurting himself or anyone else. I've heard him posit that if he was too sick or confused to drive he would know and tell us (and the doctor). I've heard him rehearse that he's the patient and the doctor has all the power in these circumstances. And for the umpteenth time, I heard all of those assertions again. He handed me the full transcript of the doctor's report and wanted me to find a hole in the logic or diagnosis.

And I observed long periods of silence. I watched bewilderment as conversations bounced around the table. I heard pleas for others to fill in the details about yesterday and last week. As it rained outside, I listened as he wondered when the drought would be over and the reservoirs fill again.

Hanging on the wall of the living room is a picture I took and framed of the old Digger Pine on his land. During a long silent gap, I gazed up and asked about that picture. The sun rays glimmered through as Dad told me that tree long ago fell to the burn pile, but the picture reminded him of the views when they moved in a decade ago. I felt his satisfaction when assembling pieces of shared history that go back years.

Dad wanted me to tell him that nothing was wrong. He deeply wanted to hear those words from me. I could not muster those words.

I wish this were a circumstance that would respond to me firmly declaring, "Wake up all you sleepers." Maybe that's just a lack of faith on my part. But it's taking all my faith right now to appreciate the sunset where I see too much indigo blue.