I pretend it’s for my benefit that Dad is repeating the story about how he and our neighbor, Sam, spent Labor Day weekend splitting logs in the backyard--
Like it’s his way of etching a simple, important moment into my memory. Something for me to find meaning in and pass on to my own son.
I pretend Dad is telling me again about how his older sister, Dot, suddenly remembered last month that their brother, Ray, had died--that she had been the first sibling his wife had called.
This has to be his way of underlining emotion--both for Ray’s death and Dot’s steady decline. He clenches his jaw.
“I already told you that, didn’t I?”
I pretend it will be for my benefit if I forget this some day.