Sometimes I think of destiny and how things would have been if Daddy had recovered.
By the laws of destiny, he would have to die someday.
But I imagine I would have taken a year away from school and would have gone to Jamaica with him.
To help him rebuild his home and keep it clean.
He would buy me a flock of sheep to make me smile
since I told him they remind me of clouds:
The sky’s companions walking on Earth.
I never would have gotten these tattoos or pushed myself through struggles just for him.
Instead, I’d paint sceneries off the coast of Green Acres and make low fat cookies.
Daddy would give me advice about school and I’d tell him about my wishes to travel to Europe.
He’d prompt me with ideas for my writing and I’d promise my first book to him.
The first was always yours.
By the laws of destiny, Daddy would become ill again. The construction of the house would stall for a bit, but with his perseverance he’d keep building it.
A familiar feeling would stir in my gut
And he’d become worse.
His stubbornness would prevent him from going to the hospital and my faith in my superhero would fuel my denial of its severity.
Daddy would die in his sleep.
I’d bring him tea one morning only to find him cold and lifeless.
The porcelain mug would fall to the floor,
Shards would cut my skin,
The hum of life would stop,
And there would be silence.
I’d cry on the phone with my mother but we’d make all the funeral arrangements.
Marvin and Mom would fly down and they’d tell me I’ve lost weight.
I’d dismiss their remarks and say, “I guess I haven’t noticed.”
By the laws of destiny, I would get these tattoos and go back to school for him.
I’d lose weight from grief and hurt a year later from denial.
I’d recall our conversations where he said, “I’d love to see you graduate University,” and a strange feeling like déjà vu would come over me.
Words from another life.
I’d stay in Canada but move out, study art and save up to go to England.
It would be as if Destiny had pointed her finger at one specific spot
And I would be
where I am
– An excerpt from Porridge: A Memoir
A memoir about life after death, and a little girl who nearly lost her life after her father lost his.