I don't know why this particular memory has been bouncing around in my head so much lately, but it's been dogging my mental heels like crazy.
"I'm not done yet."
These were the last discernable words that I heard my dad say before he slipped into a coma and died a few hours later. We were all sitting around him, his family, bunched up on the edges of his deathbed and the king-sized bed which had been situated beside him. At the time, late in the sunny afternoon, he was sleeping deeply and we thought that he'd already gone into a coma. I had just finished singing one of his songs, "One Friend", for the sake of my mom and we were all weeping pitiously. Apropos and with perfect timing, Dad snapped out of his slumber and asked for some water, which was almost instantly handed to him. After he took a sip of the clear liquid, he looked at all of us with a sly glint in his eyes, and said quite clearly, "I'm not done yet." And then he gently laid back into his pillow and fell into what I believe was his last coma and deepest sleep. If he awoke again later, I was not told about it, and I certainly wasn't told if he'd said anything else to anyone.
Dad was a musician, a father, a songwriter, a friend and a sterling example of patience. I remember talking to him on the phone months before his death and he asserted that he would like to resume writing songs again, that he had learned so much through his experiences with battling cancer and he wanted to share some more with the world. "I'm not sure if I could get it all down right," he'd told me, "but I'd like to try."
It's been four months and a day since Dad died. And, for some reason, I like to think (we, his family, all do) that he's making good on his claim that he's not done yet, that he's still making music and shaping the lives of the ones he loves.
Keep doin' what you do, Dad. Keep it up, whatever you're doing. We aren't done yet, either.