Glimpses of Dad

I need to get along home because my eyes are watering and it's hard to see the screen now, but I need to say things like this.

Over the past while my dad has been flashing through my mind in surprising ways that emotionally catch me off guard. Images of him as an old man in a care home and he's calling for help and no one is coming. Images of him seeing my strengths and desires and supporting them by encouraging me forward in those directions. Images of his personal strength in weakness and his care for me, even in his last week. I don't know why they are circling around me now, but they are.

We all need a dad who loves us, whatever that love looks like. We need his protection and support and his prayers. We need his example of how to live. We need him watching out for us.

Funny, I do most of these things for my kids without making a mental decision to do so. I may not always love them like they would like me to love them, I don't know. But I do.


For whatever reason, I just really miss that. And him.
And I go looking for him in my memory, and I connect with places we've shared and a few of the times I felt connected with him.

Maybe I just miss him is all. Maybe I miss his wisdom and his input. Maybe I miss watching him getting old, see how he would do it.

I'm getting closer to the age he was when life was getting difficult and a long illness eventually took his life. I sometimes wonder how I'll live without his example, in those later years.

Sometimes I wonder.




Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden (1913-1980)

2 comments:

  1. They say when the dead come to mind, that we need to pray for them. It seems your connection to your dad is strong. I think he is looking out for you in coming to you in thoughts and memories.

    When you go to sleep at night, bring up his mental picture and try to find him in your dreams. That has come to pass for me that I have these conversations with those passed on in my dreams.

    Think good thoughts of him when you find yourself stressed or alone. I think there is strength in that.

    Maybe he just needs to hear you call him DAD.

    A few thoughts
    Jeremy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Randall, thanks for that poem. It says things that only can be said in verse. About Dads and love and their faithful care just because they were the dad.

    ReplyDelete





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