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I Am Santo

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Eric believed that nothing he’d done in his life was right until Danny arrived. His child, the product of an effortless love that somehow crumbled despite bonds thought stronger than those binding elements, was a gift that Eric held high whenever he could, never complaining about the aching of his back, his neck, his shoulders or his heart because the boy deserved to be lifted, shown the sky and sea and all in between. Eric drifted from house to house, lover to lover, but he always kept close and fought his his self doubt, his own flimsy worth because he needed this single love. Danny’s wide eyes searched and claims everything, and his unending questions drained Eric, but the answers he had as a father were more valuable than anything else, so he offered them enthusiastically, giving of himself over a span of years he didn’t think possible. And when the cancer started to take hold, he kept answering. He told Danny everything as the fight went on, the medicines, the chemotherapy, the illnesses. It was exhausting to talk and think, but Danny needed him to be strong as high school heartbreak arrived, career choices and then, horribly, Danny’s own doubts surfaced about his place. Eric put more of himself in the battle against Danny’s depression than he did against the illness murdering his body. When it was apparent the war was lost, Eric’s fraility wasn’t just physical or emotional, but financial too. The money had run out, the jobs gone because there was little left that Eric could do beyond answering questions. Thankfully, Danny had grown from a boy standing in awe on the banks of the sea to a man fearlessly swimming in a great ocean of possibility. When Eric finally reached final breaths, he looked into the wet eyes of his son, eyes the same color as his own, and smiled. For once it was him asking the question, and Danny leaned in close to hear his father’s frail thin voice. “Of course,” Danny said in response, a tear lining his cheek. “I have always been proud of you.” (at Belief)

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