Fork in the Road

Perhaps the symbolism of the road or the journey can be overworked but I think for a moment of the novel. The characters make their way through it without knowing the outcome. In a novel the conclusion is already written. Not so with our journey through life. Nothing is already written there, which means we have the terrifying responsibility of choice. Of which road to take.

Tonight, I watched a recorded episode of The Bill, a British police serial. One of its themes was the relationship, or lack of it, between adult children and their ageing parents.

A police sergeant, after much persuading from his mother, went to see his dying father in hospital. On arriving at the ward the sergeant paused, then turned and said to his already grieving mother: ‘Let me know when he’s dead’.

 It’s not clear what the father had done to make his son behave like that. Perhaps the father had been a very bad parent. But the policeman made the wrong choice. He would have to make peace with himself, long after leaving his father and mother alone.

How much more difficult if the sergeant should find he misunderstood his father and misread his treatment of him!  I suspect that if the old man had regained consciousness he would have welcomed his son.

I would have.

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