My Dearest Father

This is a photograph of sunrise over Columbus Ohio, January 5th 2012. It is taken from the eighth floor of Riverside Hospital, the morning after my father had surgery to remove his cancerous prostate. I had flown home to Ohio from California to be with him during the surgery.

After he had a few minor setbacks, doctors told him he had to spend an extra night in the hospital. My mom was exhausted, so I asked to stay the night with him.

To pass the time before bed, we watched “To Kill A Mockingbird” on my laptop. My dad loves old movies, especially old courtroom dramas. I loved watching Boo Radley save the day and Atticus teach his children about the world’s complexities.

The last line of the movie is, “Atticus would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.” At this, my father reached across his hospital bed and held my hand. It was a moment I will never, ever forget.

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juliebarton

I'm a writer and mom living in Northern California, author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Dog Medicine, How My Dog Saved Me From Myself

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