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Vigil of heartbreak

I am sitting by my father's bedside as the early morning light of home filters through the blinds. My only sibling sits across from me while our father sleeps. The only sounds are the ticking of the clock, the bubbling of his oxygen feed, his quiet breathing. I am grateful for every breath, and grow increasingly worried after each exhale that there won't be another one. I long to lay my hand on him, to reassure him that we are here, that we are watching. That we love him. But I'm afraid that would wake him, and he needs to sleep. So instead I keep this vigil of heartbreak and wait quietly for the next breath. Oh Daddy. What will I do without you?

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