Thursday 23 January 2020

Dear Friend

By now you know I have a seven-inch cancerous tumour in my left femur. When I first heard the diagnosis, I sat on a stoop, telephoned Linda, and wept. I stumbled home, lay down on my bed, and imagined all the ways my life would change.

I kept coming back to Eden and Tybee and how difficult life might be for them. Would they wonder who I was? Would they wonder what I thought? Would they yearn for my approval, my love? My voice?

A few days later, I thought of a way I might give them my voice. I would reach out to six men from all parts of my life. Men who've travelled with me, studied with me, been through pain and happiness with me. Men who know my voice.

That morning I began composing this letter.

I believe my daughters will have plenty of opportunities in their lives. They'll have loving families. They'll have welcoming homes. They'll have each other. But they may not have me. They may not have their dad. Will you help to be their dad?

Will you listen in on them? Will you answer their questions? Will you watch their ballet moves for the umpteenth time?

As times passes, will you give them advice? Will you be tough, as I would be? Will you introduce them to somebody who might help one of their dreams come true? Will you be my voice?

And as I lay on my bed that morning, I said to myself that I would call this group of men, "The Council of Dads".

Love, Bruce

Irish Independent

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