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My Father's Voice

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Edward Curtin       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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My Father's Voice

Although my father, whose namesake I am, died twenty-one years ago, I just spent a hilarious and profound afternoon with him. For a few hours on a beautiful late spring afternoon, I sat out on the porch and listened to his inimitable voice beguile, instruct, and entertain me. He had me laughing out loud as I read through a large folder of letters he had sent me over the years. We were together again. It was his voice I heard, his voice speaking to me. It could be no other. In the beginning and end are the words. If we are lucky, we hear them.

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It's sad to think that the era of letter writing may have ended and future generations left bereft of this deepest of consolations. Emails in a cloud won't do; they lack the soulfulness of the human hand. They delete the person.

My parents had nine children. I am the only son. My father and I were very close. I talk to him daily, but it is only with the approach of Father's Day that I reread his letters in an effort to honor him, to remember him. It is usually then that I hear him respond. One look at his handwriting -- so unusual -- and he is present.[tag]

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And then the voice.

"The other day Mama saw a death notice of an Edward J. Curtin but happily he came from Brooklyn so it wasn't either of us. I told you things would get better."

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"I am up at this ungodly hour (3:35 AM) because I just had sort of a nightmare in which I was an official hangman with the unpleasant task of hanging Mrs. Grossman, one of our neighbors whom I rather like -- very unpleasant stuff these dreams are made of. I don't think I'll delve into this one with my guru oranalyst."

Back from a doctor's visit, he reports: "The doctor said I have only two problems -- from the waist down and from the waist up. But from the neck up I think I'm okay. Cogito ergo sum."

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Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

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