Monday, August 12, 2013

My Parent's Barn, Part II

There is a rocking chair, your rocking chair, passed down, one generation or more. It startles me as I move toward our piles of belongings. There it sits, at the edge, idle ... alone. I always admired its simplicity and elegance, its smallness. No arm rests. Just a tall, spindled back and a simple, comfortable cushion.

It invites the memories. The ones of long ago: heartfelt mealtime graces, hilariously inappropriate dinner conversations, horrible cat allergies, delicate, dainty tea cups, and your proud smile, always loving and embracing your wacky kids. It also invites the more recent ones, the ones filled with worry and concern, as we watched disease slowly take over, robbing your mind of memory, taking the restful retirement that should have been yours.

Your home has been sold. It has a beautiful new front door, interlocking bricks, strong new pillars. The interior has been gutted. The home that held you as you raised your children, as you struggled through loss, pride ever intact. It is no longer yours. No longer ours.

But this chair. This chair is here.

***

I never got to say goodbye.

I was not there to stand alongside children and grandchildren, to hear tributes at your funeral, listen to beautiful word and song. I was not there in Thunder Bay when your children buried your ashes, and my daughter picked flowers to soothe her father, aunt and uncles, tenderly setting them around your grave. I have been the ear at the end of the line, waiting anxiously for news, grieving quietly hundreds, thousands of miles away.

But how do I come to the end? How do we say goodbye?

And so I sit, sit in this chair, in the dark and dank of my parents' barn, and I rock. And I remember. Silently, mindfully, a few moments with you. Thank you, Marg, for your open heart, your unwavering faith, and your fierce love for your children and grandchildren. Thank you for all the care through the years. For your determined optimism and your helping hand. Thank you for listening and always trying to understand. You are missed.

1 comment:

Erika said...

beautiful! a treasure!