It’s Over, Dad

My father’s dying prediction has come true, at long last.

Courtesy Clara Jeffery

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

We had just told my dad he was about to die. He didn’t have years. Or months. “A few weeks,” his oncologist offered as the most optimistic course. Further intervention would not help. It was time to go home, and then to hospice. “Weeks?!” “I’m afraid so.”

My dad processed. And then he said, “I have a prediction: Trump will lose.”

What happened next was both excruciatingly slow and way too fast. It was not the last real conversation we had, but close to it, as mitigating pain and news of the virus crashing the world became overwhelming, as we said our goodbyes and he gradually lost the ability to speak.

In the almost eight months since, I’ve thought about that a lot. He wanted to live to see Trump lose, and he didn’t. He couldn’t have imagined the overwhelming magnitude of chaos and death that Trump has since unleashed on the country. He couldn’t have known that hundreds of thousands of American families have had to say goodbye—if they were lucky to be able to say goodbye—to a loved one because the president was too consumed with personal grievances and a desire to cling to power to do his damn job. But by then the oppressive awfulness of Trump, the cruelty, the racism, the corruption, the contempt for every supposed American value, was enough to have my father—a journalist, yes, but not a political animal; a Democrat who still heard the call of split-ticket voting, at least when it came to Larry Hogan—make this utterance within a few minutes of coming to grips with the fact that he had only a short, and painful, time to live.

When he flew in a day later, I didn’t tell my brother—a Trump supporter—about this conversation. I don’t think I’ve told anyone. Then and since, my brother and I have mostly abided by a largely unspoken agreement not to talk politics, though sometimes he texts me things out of the fever swamp, and I beg him to find better sources of info, and he dismisses me. And I’m glad, in a way, that my father hasn’t been around for all that, and that we held it together for the last week of his life, and since. And while I’m not a particularly superstitious person, recounting this conversation to anyone seemed to be tempting fate. Of course I know I can’t jinx the country, and yet…

But it’s time to say: “Daddy, you were right. It’s over.”  

Courtesy Clara Jeffery

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate