(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, August 27, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was a different time and place on the day I watched another human being die in my father’s arms. I was just a boy. Bert had epileptic seizures, medically uncontrollable then. Tall and lanky, he’d crumple and fall hard on the floor in the house, or outside under the apple tree, or in places between, shaking, convulsing, rigid as a board. I’d watch. All the time. Bert lived with us.
I had given my large German flag to my father some time ago, a gift for him to, with a Canadian flag, run up the flagpole that for many years stood by a tree I would climb as a boy at our home in Niagara. But it never made from Dad's home-office to that pole, and, [...]
My relationship with my own father has mellowed much over the years. This is what marriage and children and grandchildren and an ocean of separation can do. (I think you know I live in Africa most of the year, the genesis of which is for another conversation at another time.) But there was a time [...]