Yes, even at eighty-two, he had the strength to break wood. It slipped and fell under the pedal as he was going 240 on his way to nowhere in a place that was created to keep him here a little longer.

As any good handyman would do, he used duct tape to mend the fracture. But the doctor said he needed better support than that. A modern-day aluminium one replaced it. It was adjustable in case he grew taller, when in fact it was because life and poor health was forcing him to bend lower.

I won’t throw that cane away. Here, just look at it. I laid it on my desk as I write this. It is my dad and a reflection of his life. Perhaps a symbol of all our lives. It is worn and cracked. It reflects a life well lived. It still has a lot of use and could very well perform it’s purpose of giving support to someone else who needs it.

There are splinters from times when things got rough, and these scars are constant reminders of battles well fought. It is taped where it was damaged the most. Perhaps that break shows he fought for his life with everything he had even when the odds were against him. Like you and me, we must stand up again, bandage ourselves and go on.

No. I will not give up that cane. In fact, I have used it in speeches as an example of strength and winning at life, against all odds.

But I regret one thing. I don’t think I told him. Perhaps it’s too late. But again, he’s just “in the next room.” — (Concluded)