By Peter Dargatz
The loud blast of the train’s horn in the distance broke the silence and reminded him of the times he had with his father.
They used to sprint down their street to catch a glimpse of the train hurling down the nearby rails. They would count the cars and enjoy the sights and sounds of the train cars.
They played catch in their yard, pretending to be major leaguers.
They took nature walks, listening to the croaks of bullfrogs and the songs of birds.
They spend as much time together as they could. They shared everything, but things changed, as they inevitably do.
Time with his father lost its allure. It became a chore.
Rather than chasing trains together, the son tried to chase his father away.
The son ignored his father. Hanging out with your father just wasn’t cool. He was chasing him away.
The son lied to his father. Telling the truth might make his father ask questions. He was chasing him away.
The son disrespected his father. He built himself up by tearing his father down. He was chasing him away.
But through all the rejection, all the defiance, all the hurt, his father stayed.
Now, as his father lay in a hospital bed, with death knocking on the door, the son has regrets.
As he neared his father’s bed with tears down his cheeks, he whispered an apology and made a promise. A promise to live his life full of love. A promise to live like his father.
His father opened his eyes, smiled, and whispered words that changed the son forever.
“Listen closely, son. You hear that train. Chase it. Chase after your dreams. Chase after your adventures. Remember to enjoy the chase.”
The son kept those words in his heart and is reminded of them every time he takes his own son down to the tracks to chase the next train.