In Memory of My Father

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The death of a good father may be one of the hardest things, a human has to endure.  I do not know now, how the sorrow will ever be tolerable, but I suppose it will.  I suppose, one day, I will not cry .  I have never buried a parent.  All I know, for now is that this a different kind of grief.

The service was on Thursday.  Only a limited number of people could attend, due to the pandemic.  A handful of friends gathered, but were asked to stay in their car.  It was already a sorrowful time, but to have to work within the  current mandates, was taxing. Not even our immediate family could gather to comfort one another.   Good neighbors and beloved friends dropped dishes on the porch, and could not be invited in, but instead thanked “through the door.” 

I have never cared about flowers, as I would rather someone spend that money on food for the hungry . . .and with the florists, all closed, in our small town, we couldn’t have bought flowers our selves.   When we arrived, for the service, there was a single spray of flowers, from our cousin, Chuck, who had used an out of town florist.  A it turns out, flowers do matter to me.  Those flowers were like the nights, when there is a single star in the sky.   

Since Daddy was a veteran, he had asked for a military service not because he wanted the recognition . . he wanted Mama to have a flag.  When she was presented a flag, I couldn’t help but think, that this was his final gift to Mama. 

The day after the funeral, was as sad as any other one before it.  There was so much work to be done, however, that we were just too busy to dwell for any length of time, on our grief.  Connie took care of the business that comes with  death, an awful task, I think. Delores and I packaged food, which meant cleaning out cabinets and refrigerators and freezers.  I remain grateful and humbled by the way of good people. for the one thing that we did not have to fret over, was food.  We hung clothes on the line together, like we did as children.  That was a sweet moment.

We all took another visit to the grave together and carried flowers from the yard.  I thought to sprinkle some soil from home.  It was what we could do.

We all returned to our homes afterwards -at Mamas’ insistence.  Mama is exhausted, heartbroken and heartsick -all at once.  She had a crush on daddy at the tender age of fourteen . . .and so she married him, just a few short years later.  She still lives on the a parcel of the farm, that she grew up on.  They would have been married 62 years in June, yet in Daddys’ last days, she laid beside him, her head on his shoulder, and looked like a young girl in love. I knew I was looking at a love story-an incredible story that had weathered hardships, survived calamities and stood together in victory, at last.  They won their race.

Now, that the “dust has settled”, I am back at the rabbitpatch, where the roses are in full bloom -and every floor needs scrubbing.  I thought as I pulled grass along the garden path and more when I hung out the clothes on the line.  I just missed every day, before this one.  I missed the “Sunday dinners”  and the day I played the piano,for Daddy, while an entire entourage gathered in my kitchen for a surprise birthday party, I missed Christian and I playing Hank Williams songs because Daddy loved Hank Williams.  The soil swallowed my tears and the wind blew my sadness, til there was less of it.  I even half heartedly, thanked the roses before I came in.

Grief is as natural as joy and I reminded myself of that as I went along with my chores.  Grief may be as good a lesson as any  I know of, though it may also be the hardest to bear, for I thought of the beautiful legacy Daddy left, and that legacy was created by the substance of his life.  If there is ever a time  for me to reflect on  the contents of my time, on this earth  .  . it is now.  I must consider, my priorites and make sure they are practiced.  What will my children see as my legacy, I wondered.  Is my “truth” beautiful?  I started a mental list of things to improve upon-and so grief is a lesson, after all.

Now, my dad left this planet, but his story will remain, for I will  tell it to his great grand children.  They deserve to know their heritage was forged by a great -great grandmother who raised  children, that grew into noble adults.  Daddys’  brother, Uncle Randy was a gentle  soul.  He was so kind to me.   . .well, I have never met a Warren”  that I didn’t love right off.  . .and since Uncle Randy has also passed, Daddy is in especially good company. 

So far, not a one of the Warrens, “have taken a single thing” with them.  We always say that, but I fear, we do not always really act like we understand it.  My dear and kindred friend ,  Scott of Pazlo, really says it best, when he refers to our earthly  castles as  mere “sand castles”. 

We are going to work all of our life, at something.  We will accomplish what we work for and we ought to be aware of that.  . . another thing to remember.

   “Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints” 

 

 

55 thoughts on “In Memory of My Father

  1. Oh my dear Michelle, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. What a beautiful tribute to him and your grace and wisdom shows through as always, even in heartbreak. I have not yet been where you are and can’t pretend to know that deep of grief, but I pray the God of all comfort continues to bring you His peace that passes all understanding. You will remain in my prayers, as well as your family dear friend. With Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, a lovely tribute to your father. Both my parents have been dead for quite some time, and what a hole such a loss leaves. Nobody knows you as well as your parents do. And the history they have acquired over the years can never be replaced. After my mother died, I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “I’ll have to ask Mom” when I had a question about family or town. However, there was no Mom to ask. Lonely, lonely, and blue. Thinking of you during this sad, sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, this brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful, beautiful post. We are currently dealing with my mom, who had a stroke in January, being quarantined, and supporting my dad as he prepares to downsize and move. I told my mom that many families love each other, but I think ours loves each other more than most. I’d say the same for yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another beautiful post. My dad will be gone 18 years and my mom will be gone 14 years this upcoming summer. The grieving process has definitely eased (as it should) however, there are random moments in random places where I am caught completely off guard and tears fill my eyes and fall onto my cheeks…after all this time. They live on, however, in stories we siblings share with each other every single time we get together. All of our children have very fond memories and we all love to share these stories with our various grandchildren. My parents, like yours, were/are loved so much. Aren’t you and I so very lucky? Thoughts of you during this sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Michele, I am so sorry for your loss. I am typing through tears after reading your post. Your parents, like mine, are a beautiful love story. Sending lots of love and hugs your way, dear friend♥

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Michelle: I am so sorry for your loss. It’s the most beautiful love story of a true love that lasted a life time! A heart touching tribute to your dad, who will always be present in your heart, memories, and actions. I read somewhere that when our loved ones pass, they go from living among us to living “in us”… and this is so true… It must have been even harder to go through this difficult time especially during this pandemic, however, it’s heart warming to see how people still manage to do their part and be “present” for your family, whether in the form of bringing a dish or some flowers in a time when all flower shops were close. My heart goes out to you, your mom and your family. Hoping the pain will ease with time and surrounding you with love and prayers, Amira

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love you, and I grieve with you. I assure you, your spirits will rise again, and that is what your dad would want for you. Meanwhile, feast on your memories. Maybe jot down a list of stories and anecdotes you want to be sure to share with your children and grandchildren. They have a very rich heritage they will remember because of you. God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Such a moving testimonial. I loved both parents dearly. Somehow, I remember my father the most, probably because we did so much together. He was a giant in my eyes and I miss him dearly. They say that you must be sad and mournful before you can heal. It’s true. I felt all you felt and I can assure you that you, too, will heal. However, you will never forget the man. Condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele, you post such nice comments for me and other followers. That is very nice, or, as Mark Twain might say, ‘damn’ nice. Take care and it is true, so true, ‘time heals’. But it’s a challenge. You’ll be well!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. ‘ I knew I was looking at a love story-an incredible story that had weathered hardships, survived calamities and stood together in victory, at last. They won their race.’

    Yes , that itself is something to cherish. Such a beautiful, tribute to your Dad (and Mum)

    God bless him, and may he enjoy eternal peace with our Heavenly Father.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so very sorry for your loss. As someone who has lost both parents, the grief lessens each day. Sometimes seems like it will never leave, but it does. Then one day as you are going through your routine you “I know dad” and laugh. Sending hugs and prayers for better days ahead

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so sorry, Michele. Your grief is natural, and you just have to go through it. The day will come when it doesn’t hurt so much, although you will always miss him. But as this moving tribute proves, a part of him lives on in you. You have his memories, you learned the lessons he taught you and you absorbed his values. In that sense, he will always be with you. I hope that you can feel his comforting presence just when you need it most.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, Rabbit, “your truth” is indeed beautiful. This stretch of the river brings many hard lessons, yet also bears gifts that will unfold over time, and these will only add to that beauty.

    Many years ago at a time of loss, someone sent me this, which I pass along to you. It was attributed as “Native American Prayer”, the author unknown.

    I leave you this one thought to keep,
    I am with you still. I do not sleep.

    I am the thousand winds that blow,
    I am diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you waken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of silent birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not think of me as gone,
    I am with you still, in each new dawn.

    Heartfelt thoughts for you and your family.

    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is heart-achingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing the things that you are feeling through this and your lessons are heart-piercing to me…a lot of food for thought. I’m going to go listen to Hank Williams with my children in honor of your dad. Praying for your heart and for your mom. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
    I am praying that comfort for you my friend. I have not yet had to journey down the road that you are on….but know that you don’t go alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dear Michelle, thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to the love of your father and mother. You are blessed. Please accept my deep condolences for your loss, so beautifully expressed in your writing. This time of COVID-19 makes even funerals more difficult than they always are. I will keep you, your mother and my father in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry to be so late in passing on my condolences. Your family is obviously the centre of existence and your love for them all is palpable. Life is never the same after your parents pass on and this is such a painful way to make this huge transition. I send wide armed heartfelt digital hugs to you and a prayer 🙏🏽 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I read each word & now I feel like bursting in grief without knowing you personally. You have gifted your daddy a heartfelt farewell through this although destiny won’t allow it to accept it physically. Rest in peace the departed soul🙏

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