You were never a chatterbox, Dad. You always chose your words carefully and didn’t say anything you didn’t mean. You were sometimes extremely brief in your communications, perhaps to balance Mother’s tendency to talk much more than you did.
Especially on the telephone, you always were a master of brevity. Calling home from payphones while traveling around Europe, or from the U.S. back when calling overseas was rare and expensive, all I’d get out of you was sometimes: “All is well; over and out”. Those few words really said everything I needed to hear, though.
I started out emulating your style of communication, but have had to learn to say more on the telephone over the years. These days I sometimes even wear a Bluetooth earpiece and talk with my wife while driving or walking through stores shopping if we can’t be together.
Sitting with you, watching the sunset at camp or spending time together during the Holidays, there were always long stretches of silence between us. I always felt the connection, even without any exchange of words. I felt it also at the very end of our time together here on Earth.
Sitting by your bedside during your last few days and nights, I said all those things to you that I had not said often enough before. Unable to answer me because of your end-stage Alzheimer’s disease, you looked at me and the peace in your eyes conveyed to me all I needed to hear back: “All is well”.
Roger that, Dad: All is well. Rest in Peace. Over and out.