Thursday, September 26, 2013

beginning to end

1955
 
I apologize, friends, if I carry on so about my dad.
But there's no getting over such a loss,
or "moving on" at a prescribed time.
Not for a moment do I wish him back to his pain-filled state,
but I can't get him out of my mind or heart.
While as a Christian I am certain that Dad now has a new,
healthy body in heaven,
my frail human-ness won't let go of memories.
The nearly four years of conversations, laughter and meals together.
(Gosh those shrimp and cheese grits with black-eyed peas were amazing.)
The outings we took when he was still able,
to "shop" for trucks and grab some barbeque at Jim 'n Nicks.
About a year ago I wheeled Dad outside and we sat for a long
time in the sunshine. He watched roofers at work across the street.
I had a heaviness in my spirit that there wouldn't be many more visits.
He told me I was "a ray of sunshine" on one visit.
Funny, I never thought of myself as that, but I will hold it forever.
When I last saw Dad, I was certain it was the last time.
He was weak and tired and eating so little.
His mind couldn't make sense of things.
I gave him permission to go and held his hand all afternoon.
 
Now that I think about it, the distance I had to travel to see Dad
was a blessing because seeing him was all I had to do.
I didn't have to run errands or rush home to cook dinner.
I simply sat with him all day.
 
Through the years he frustrated me plenty: dads do that, I guess.
 But beginning to end, he was an incredibly solid father.
To think I almost missed the chance to sit with him,
to talk about things we never had, to know him as much as he'd allow.
So grateful. 
 
People who die are not buried in a field,
they are buried in the heart.
- Rwandan adage
 
 
Centennial Park, Nashville. September 2011.

2 comments:

LPool said...

There is no time table for grief. I always felt it in waves..much like the tide...it came in and then it went out. And still today just a bit over a year and it comes...in waves. You too will find your peace, but it will be in your own time and not someone else's.

Diana Coon said...

Just as unique as the way we love is the way we grieve. Each of us is entitled to our own timetable...do it your way.