June 29, 2012: Remembrance of Dad
I held your hand in the driveway, right where you fell.
The same hand that had once changed my diapers, given me a bottle, taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car, that fed me my first (and last) piece of liver, that cut my hair into a pixie, that held onto me when I crossed a road, that gave me away in marriage, that slipped me money at the beginning of every month, that signed the checks for oh-so-many years of education, that taught me the importance of giving…
I held your hand in the driveway, right where you fell. In disbelief.
That Friday morning, ready to leave for work, the phone rang. Dad probably couldn’t wait until my Bluetooth call while I was on my way to work; he must have had something important to tell me that happened on this date, from the calendar he kept with all family events (big and little) catalogued.
Something very important. My sister’s voice – hysterical, sobbing – “Dad’s dead.”
I calmly called Michael, who told me to wait until he got home from the office; he didn’t trust me to drive. On our way there – on our way “home” – I knew it would take at least an hour – I prayed that you would still be there when I got to the house.
How could I have prayed for what I saw when I arrived? The State Trooper was just leaving as I flew out of the passenger seat and ran across the lawn – the same lawn that you mowed on your John Deere, a special handle screwed into its casing so you could drive your grandsons around with you 30 years ago – to the figure half-hidden by the hedge, covered with a thin white blanket.
I heard someone wail in anguish and didn’t know it was me – your baby of 58 years.
Where was the dignity in this? Dad – my father – a World War II veteran – lying in his driveway, in the sunshine. (Thank goodness for your being covered; lupus doesn’t like sunshine, remember?)
I held your hand in the driveway.
It was right where I had seen Mom standing at your side, oh-so-many years ago after she died, as Steve, Alex and I pulled out of your driveway; by the flowering tree Mom loved that nestled the bird feeders you kept filled for the songbirds and squirrels.
The diamonds in Mom’s ring sparkled in the sunshine as my fingers entwined with yours, your strong hands, nails neatly trimmed, relaxed…at peace. My tears fell onto our hands, a baptism, a cleansing of our relationship, joined with Mom in a bond not unlike diamonds that would only strengthen with the weight of time passed.
There was a dignity in this, of a sort…a communion, a joining, rather than a separation… A quietness…a birth…an arrival upon the heels of a departure.
You were already being greeted by the God whom you so loved, along with Grammie and Grandpop, who sang the words of Matthew 3:17: “This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”
A trembling voice echoed off the walls of my broken heart: “This is my Father, in Whom I am well pleased.”
Related Post: Remembrance
May he rest in peace . . . and what a dashing Navy man he was! [I’m partial, I guess]. Namaste . . .
Those Navy uniforms! Thank you for your kind words, Rising Hawk.
sending you thoughts of peace-filled memories
as each whisper entwines through the trees
carrying silent voices back across the mist
to touch your hand and give your spirit a lift….
Beauty in sadness seeps through to the soul…
Take care..You Matter Theresa…
Your words mean much; it’s good to see you back among us. Blessings…
Thank you…I am working on the coming back…
I hope you are well in your neck of the woods…
I have read your thoughts as I wandered…
they always make me smile and think….
Thank you for them….
Take Care…You Matter…
You made me cry Theresa.
You touched my heart, Laurie.
A fitting and loving tribute to your dad. He lives within you.
Thank you, kind sir. You might like: This is How I Will Remember Dad and Of Ladybugs and Dragonflies …and Love.
I am so moved by this story, God bless his soul and you, Theresa
Thank you, my friend.
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful tribute. I cried through the last half. So sweet! Blessings, Natalie
Thank you, Natalie, for honoring Dad by reading this…
Your loving tribute to your dad is both moving and beautiful. I think he will be smiling at you with great joy in his heart. May he rest in peace and may you always feel his love for you…across the boundaries of time and space… Have a blessed day Theresa 🙂
You’ve touched my heart with your kind words, and for that I am so very grateful. Blessings to you…
I know the pain if this all to well, Dear Friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love sent your way.
That means so much…
What a beautifully written tribute to your father! I felt you every line in this post! You write very well for a reader to feel your emotions. Bless you and I have no doubt your father is beaming down at you filled with so much pride. Hugs, Oliana xx
Your kind words mean so much. With my gratitude and blessings…
It touched me so! I was with my dad when he passed…after 30+ years of distance, I was with him the last few years of his life. I was 52 and that year my grandson was born…God works in mysterious ways.
What a gift to have closed the distance in time! You were both blessed. And another life that year when your grandson was born; wonderful! In this spirit, you might like to read this: https://soulgatherings.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/of-ladybugs-and-dragonflies-and-love/
More incredible writing Theresa. Your honest shining heart radiates out love eternally through your writing. Thank you for sharing this incredible post. Blessings, Gina