Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vintage Supahmama

June 23rd, 2009
He started off his day mowing down the garden. He just doesn't have the passion or energy anymore when it comes to growing anything. He's got a few buckets out this year of tomatoes and cucumbers, but not much more. He couldn't see me from where I was standing, but his movements were so fluid I could understand why he needed to be out there so early this morning. His arms moved like that of a swimmer lost in the moment, simply concentrating on the task at hand. We lost you six months ago today, and out of all of us who mourn your passing it's he who suffers the most. Two days ago he had to celebrate what was probably the toughest day since you left before now. Two days ago he had to celebrate not just his first Father's Day without the woman who gave him the gift of fatherhood, but his 56th wedding anniversary without his bride.
Today, with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat he spoke to my mother softly and slowly. He wanted one more hour, just one more hour with you to tell you he was sorry. To apologize for all the times he was mean. To tell you what you meant to him. To thank you for what you gave him. Just one more hour.

Soon we will have a memorial for you... soon there will be dozens of people with your name on their lips... soon there will be talk of all you did, all those you touched, and all the good that's lived on in the generations you've helped raise and love. While we may not get that hour back in our lives to tell you face to face what sits heavy on our hearts, I know that you will be there and whether we realize it or not, it's our chance at an hour. As I write this, I'm imagining your kind face, I'm imagining you rocking my princess - your princess number 8 as my mother and I realized today, I'm remembering you holding my screaming, squirming boy and being so patient. I was obviously jealous and at a loss for words as there are mother's out there who would give up and walk out after so many hours of earsplitting screams. You never would have walked out on him and you taught me to love him more than I thought I could ever possibly love another human being, to be patient and the reward would follow in it's wake. Love is patient, love is kind, and you were the embodiment of love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 He often says that she fills the void in his heart. She is sweet as can be, but has a fiery spirit just like yours. We all feel your presence and hide the brooms when her eyes go black. We also talk about the dent in his bank account had you been able to be here and watch her grow. You would have worn the rubber off the Cadillac's tires taking her shopping for dresses, dolls and sparkly shoes. I'm glad we're here with him, and I hope you're able to see what good the kids do him each day. Just trying to fulfill my promise to you and do the best by my Children. Just as you did for yours.


  1. A beautiful tribute to what sounds like a loving mama and a dad who's trying to make amends.

  2. Thank you! They're actually my Grandparents. I'm the oldest Grandchild, and as luck would have it, we were here to help take care of them when she passed away. My Daughter is the youngest Great Grandchild so it's kind of a special living arrangement we have.

  3. Oh goodness, so excruciatingly well written. If only we're all so lucky to have a tribute like this written for us by someone we love. I was there in the garden with you, watching him. xoxo

  4. Goosie, I hope I leave a legacy worthy enough of a tribute such as this. I just find it unfortunate the circumstances to get a tribute in general. I believe my Mom ended up reading this at her memorial on my behalf, I'm not sure.

    Celery, I know.

  5. wow. this was a very touching post. I have tears in my eyes. I love to hear the love stories of our older generation. It must be really special to have and love someone for that length of time. I'm sure your grandmother is so very happy your family is able to be there with him.

  6. Thanks, Sister. I love the older generations as well. I've got two Steamer trunks filled with letters and mementos from the earlier part of their relationship that I would LOVE to dig out and post about.

  7. Very sweet. I often wish I were closer to my grandparents.

    1. I grew up with my Grandparents less than a 10 minutes walk through the woods. More often than not, I rode the school bus to their house instead of mine. As their oldest Grandchild, I feel like I was treated more like a child of their own than a product of their Daughter. I'm known to mistakenly refer to my Grandfather as "Dad" in conversation.