On the 30th it will have been three years since my dad died. I’ve tried to lend it meaning, staring out the window on a rainy afternoon earlier this week. I stared at the front lawn, the pair of oak trees with their wet rough green bark, the irises at their feet like a tangle of ribbons. The rain is light. Evidence of it falling is on the leaves that spring back in the release of the droplets that have gathered weight on the leaf fringe, bending the stalk. It’s on the cedar that wears the drops like pearls, reflecting sky. It’s in the puddle on the corner whose surface is drawn with circles that appear, grow and vanish like a frenetic screensaver.

Three years is nothing and everything.

On that morning I was breastfeeding my infant son and the phone rang and the palliative care nurse was looking for my brother because my dad was calling out for him. We hung in expectant suspension while the morning filled with waking children needs. My dad was leaving. Maybe right this minute, or this minute, the relatively brief agony was coming to an end. We’d scheduled a conference call for next Wednesday to discuss further steps in pain relief, but Pa left before that meeting as if to hurry up and not give us the inconvenience. He had always been considerate that way.

It’s been three years. That’s all.