My Father's Last Words

by Terry 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    My Father's LAST WORDS

    In 1972, I was 25 years old following a strong impulse carrying me 1,500 miles
    away from home in Fort Worth, Texas.
    I intended to find him - my Dad. He’d left when I was about half a year old.

    His home in Detroit, Michigan had been the first house I lived in at age zero.
    I knocked on his door and he answered.
    The door opened and --here he was -- this man --He was my father.


    “Are you Wesley Walstrom?”


    “I’m Terry Walstrom.”

    (He gave a stunned chuckle) You have the Walstrom chin—come on in.”


    I finally had reached the moment when a flesh-and-blood Dad stood in the same room with me and I could inquire about the secrets of the universe.
    Later that evening, after small talk - I blurted it out.

    “Why did you leave me?”

    “Your mother wanted to fight. I hated fighting. I didn’t have the heart for fighting. So, I left.”

    “I wasn’t worth fighting for?”

    The expression on his face was a crucified Jesus.

    “Terry-what can I say? The line between possible and impossible we each see differently. It was impossible for me to stay with your mother living with her parents, walking to work for forty-cents an hour. Then fight and get up the next day. Impossible.”

    “What did you say to me before you went away?
    My grandfather told me you whispered something.”

    He looked me in the eye.

    “Such as we are made of, such we be. We know what we are, but know not what we may be. To do a great right, do a little wrong.”


    No photo description available.

    The last letter I received—no, let me start again!
    The only letter I ever received from my father, Wesley Walstrom, arrived in my mailbox over twenty years later.

    It was addressed to me in shaky handwriting as might come from a person too ill to write.

    I gazed with surprise at the return address. It was my father’s name and the same address where I had stood in 1972 listening to my Dad quoting Shakespeare.

    My wife asked aloud, “Aren’t you going to open it?”

    I took a deep breath. “No.”

    I placed it on the mantle.

    My father died within a year.

    My Aunt Shirley called me and told me. He had been suffering from a degenerative bone disease for a long time. He was now at peace, she said.
    I thanked her, but didn’t mention the letter.

    Why didn’t I want to open it?

    Nothing that man could ever say to me could mean more to me than the last words he had spoken before he hugged me.
    Even a warm “I’m sorry” wouldn’t mean anything.

    Those two words are words my father never spoke.
    He did the possible - not the impossible.

    What more can you ask of a man?

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    “Such as we are made of, such we be. We know what we are, but know not what we may be. To do a great right, do a little wrong.”

    Terry.... Sorry to seem like a dunce but I've read and reread the above but I'm not sure what it means or why your father said this or why it meant so much to you. Can you fill me in?


  • LV101

    Terry - WOW!

    I think I get it -- not sure. Appreciate the share and your brain obviously clicked with your father's deep thoughts.

  • zeb


    Live long and prosper in peace, wisdom and love..

  • smiddy3

    I may be wrong but I think I know where your writing ability comes from Terry.

  • Terry

    We learn our limits as we live and make choices. To do what seems good, but at the same time being flawed, we'll hurt others even trying to do our best.

    At one time all of us here tried to "serve Jehovah" and we thought it was best. But in living our lives that way, we discovered we were hurting ourselves and even the people we tried to help - so - we became Apostate trying to do a corrective "right thing" and in so doing hurt more people. (A much smaller hurt compared with the larger one.)

    So, I take it to mean: we don't know ourselves starting out - but we try and try and learn by the harms along the way - even while doing our best.

    Why do people marry and then divorce?
    Why do other people stay married even though they are miserable?
    Which is best? And who is it best for?
    These are life's imponderables. All we can really ask of a person is to do "their best".

  • sparky1

    'To do a great right, do a little wrong.' - William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice

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