The Preacher Calls on Sunday

My dad calls, because we have not spoken since Christmas.  He asks what I’m doing and I tell him and I hear the surprised hesitation in his voice.  But he doesn’t ask and I appreciate that he doesn’t.  He tells me about his day, about climbing back up into the pulpit to fill in for a friend, and about a church lunch and the Cardinals and on and on and I want to get back to what I’m doing, to be off the phone with him, and I can tell by his longer and longer pauses that he knows I’m looking to go.

But I can’t quite bring myself to tell him “goodbye.”  His voice is low and tired and it scares me.

But he says nothing alarming.  He doesn’t apologize either, but his calling is his way of reaching back to me, to try to make things okay between us without him having to admit any wrong doing.

And later, I call him back, and I ask if he’s okay and he says yes, though it still doesn’t sound like it, and we make plans to fix my porch light the next time he’s down.