This is the scene. A view from my bedroom window where I lived more than 20 years ago. When I was just 8 my father had lost his job due to downsizing caused by the brutal recessions of the seventies. In order to keep his house and feed his family he was forced to work two and three jobs at a time.
In the dark morning hours of weekdays, my father would come home and rap on the sill of this window, gently. That was my signal to wake up and I would tread downstairs to the basement to let him in quietly. Then we would both go into the kitchen without speaking a word.
The ugly almond-colored wall mount oven door would be opened slightly so the dim appliance light would give us enough illumination to see. There we would sit. I eating cereal and my father having a Sanka with milk. No sugar. We dared not speak for fear of waking the others in the house.
I had to leave early because it was always about a mile walk to the bus stop, and a long ride from there. I would go off to school, and my father would go to bed. By the time I got home, he had already left to go to his next job.
For years that is how I knew my father. In dim and silent moments with the smell of milk and coffee. Yet I knew what he was doing, and how it was for me. I regret the time we never had, but those mornings of wordless necessity will always remind me of dedication and love.