by Bob Jacobs

One small wish is all I was offered, like a single inadequate life-jacket thrown to a hundred drowning men, so I made my choice. I traveled back to 1969 and sat on the edge of my bed. There I told myself, the child, that the next morning my father would be gone from this world, and that I shouldn't worry, that everything would turn out fine and that I would see my father again when I looked into the eyes of my newborn son, years hence. I explained that for all the many words my mother and I would say to each other in our lives she would slip away in a hospice with me at her bedside leaving the important things unsaid, but that she always knew I loved her and she loved me too. I told me that my brother's time in this world is limited, that he'd leave at a time of his own choosing, and that I should feel no blame, that it's not the losing people that matters, but the remembering. And though he never stirred from his sleep as I gently kissed his cheek and said farewell, I felt that somehow my wish had done me some good.


Bob Jacobs, who made An Atheist's Plea, lives in the south-east of England with his wife and kids and Sony Vaio. In his spare time he likes to lie motionless on his back, whistling and staring at clouds.