My father died twenty-three years ago at the age of 89. He was a good man and a beloved father. My memories of him do not fade. I often think of him. There are times when his presence is very close.

One night of extraordinary beauty up the Essequibo, I sat by the river’s edge with the forest trees entangled with stars at my back and watched a giant moon, shining through the smoke of wood-fires, rise fiery red across the great river. It was one of those occasions when the smallness and transience of an individual life becomes very real. For hours as the moon rose and slipped overhead towards the cliff of forest trees behind me, I thought of my father, whose life was long as lives go but brief as a dream as all lives are.

What I have written about my father, though important to me, is of no interest in a newspaper column. Still, we all have parents and what happens as they grow old is a universal experience which is worth writing about in public form. In thinking about my father I thought about life’s last passage, which brings such sadness but which we cannot avoid as we ourselves grow old…..

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