A couple of days after my father died, they came with a big trailer to take the cows away. Those damn cows. How much had they cost our family over the years? How many fights? How much time together? But as the field stood empty days after Amanda and I came home from the movies to 11 messages on our answering machine, I felt surprisngly alone.
I had been a grown up for some time. I lived three thousand miles away, had a great family and job and hadn’t depended on my dad for anything really except interest in my life for years. So why did the world seem bigger, colder and scarier now? Why did the absence of cows seem like being caught without a coat on one of those legendary northern New York winter days? They say that you will always be your parent’s little boy to them. But it seems like I had been my dad’s little boy in my mind as well. I wasn’t ready for him to leave my mom alone or never meet my children. But I think the biggest shock of it was the jarring impact of full adulthood; of loosing a buffer between me and the world that I didn’t realize I counted on.