My father died 34 years ago. I love seeing him in dreams. Last time, 10 years ago, I was trying to withstand my husband’s constant abuse because I didn’t want to get divorced, and Daddy appeared, crying, and I understood he loved me and did not raise me to be abused, even by a sick man.
Short, compact, dark and hairy, Daddy spoke with a heavy Slavic accent but also with the nasality of people who learned English in Chicago. He worked double shifts at the tractor factory when there was work, giving us all he had of love and care, a real family man. I used to think all men were as kind, generous, and steady as my father. If only they were. I am a fool for kindliness.
In the photo, my sister and niece tend his grave. There’s an American flag on it, always. We live in a great country and he understood that. Immigrants are our strength.