He doesn’t want his father to die, but this person that he sees every day doesn’t tell the jokes that his father used to make, and he doesn’t drink beer and coffee, doesn’t go walking with his dog, or wash his cars, or go for drives (driving too fast), or watch television and argue about sports.
He doesn’t want this man to die, even though his beard is white and wispy, and his hair is gone, and the lean, tall body sags like a worn fence, and he no longer barks out demands and orders.
He doesn’t want this man to die, the drooling one who sits in a chair and stares most of the day, the one that doesn’t eat much, mostly eating candy when he does eat, the man who doesn’t remember his name and needs help to use the toilet.
He doesn’t want this man to die, no matter what kind of wreck he is, because he knows that he’s still his father, and he will miss him more when he’s gone.
But he doesn’t want this man to suffer any more, because he is his father, so he comes every day, visiting and waiting, wondering and remembering, wishing that he had hope for something besides what it is.