Jay's Journey Back

My Forever Place Online

When Tomorrow Doesn’t Come


If tomorrow never comes

I only knew him as my father but as time has passed and I’ve grown older I have learned much more about the man. It wasn’t until after he was gone and I was able to sit down with myself and look back on things that I learned what a strong and brilliant man he truly was. He was humble, good hearted, compassionate to a point and took absolutely no bullshit. And he could sniff it out from any distance. He didn’t ask many questions of me growing up but when he did it was because he knew the answer already and wanted to give me a chance to ‘come clean’. For that I am thankful.

My father let me live my own life from a very young age. Maybe that was because at the age of 16 he took on the roll of man of the house when his father died at 56. He went away to war and in Vietnam was a forward observer seeing much more than anyone should have, let alone someone nearing twenty. He never talked about those times. In all the years of watching him interact with other friends that had seen combat and countless trips to the VFW as a kid, never once did I hear him speak of the horror it must have been. I guess do’ers never say and say’ers never do. He wanted me to learn for myself what consequences came from decisions I made. Everything has a consequence, good or bad. That may be strange to some but I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. I was able to learn the ways of the world long before I’d have to put that knowledge into use. I am forever grateful for that type of upbringing.

I think back to the last time I saw my father alive and I feel guilt. He had undergone an operation for an obstruction that gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving, but far better than the zero percent chance if he did not. He had made it through and as I had seen a few times before, he was aided by a ventilator and unable to speak but was awake and able to hand gesture. As my mother and I were getting up to leave for the night after visiting hours were over, he motioned us back. I told him everything would be OK and told him I would see him tomorrow.

Tomorrow never came.

We all will experience this at some point in our lives. I am sure many of you already have in some form or another. Don’t live with regrets. Don’t leave something unsaid and most of all never let something petty get in the way of family or friends. My father was a good man and a sometimes know-it-all. I would give anything to see him again and let him think he was right just one more time.


pic credit : Canan Oner

One Comment to

“When Tomorrow Doesn’t Come”

  1. On January 10th, 2015 at 8:28 am mallshouse Says:

    I received a phone call at 2 am notifying me of my mothers death. I would have been getting up in four more hours to drive and see her. I had to wait for my paycheck. I never got to say my goodbye. Yes, tomorrow never came. I am sorry for your loss Jay.

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Writer Jay Long

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