Home » Faith » Carry on……

Carry on……

image source:google images

image source:google images

The cuckoo clock ticks.  The floors creak with the slow movement of the elderly woman traversing the length of the living room and the dining room, cane maneuvered by one hand, the other hand holding the day’s newspaper, just retrieved from the front step.

Great hall height     BUMBLING                  forward                inside all the way              to cake breakfast            before        drop         eyelids               into    the deep.         Being      of course,         is perfectly soluble          fight and fought             fraught?               Bought for naught? While I              DANCE                tripp ingly                        two sides                                              that’s                       understood,
or                                   should be,

if you get my drift.   I read just the other day, somewhere, or maybe I heard it?  Well, I won’t bore you with the how or the why, but you follow what I’m saying.

It was like, the time comes when the young take up the cause left behind by the old.  Something close to that.  Oh, maybe, the time comes when the old give up their cause to the young.  Yeah, I think that’s was it.  The time comes when the old give up their cause to the young.

Souls fly higher daily, skin thinned into translucence; some march straight ahead to the edge of the cliff and step out into air; some slow until inert stasis is the wall paper of their last days; some push against dread and fear; some laugh and joy in the legacy they’ve built; some writhe deep in pain and suffer the sloughing of the dying flesh; some faces light with the promise of more life to come; some pull the trigger in search of false relief.

I hear Mother coming; her cane clunking.  My mind flies to memories treasured.  I hover, chose and settle in to enjoy.

“Decaf?”  The waitress sets a glass of water and a napkin wrapped knife, fork and spoon on the table.

Crile R Dean

Crile R Dean

His solid but not overweight figure sits tall against the back of the booth, his hair white, every hair combed into place;  his eyes bright, a smile on his face, his cream colored, short sleeved, button-up shirt and brown slacks, not new but clean; his walking shoes a little scuffed.

The diner is clean, if well worn.  Much used faded counters nicked and scarred, brown booth seats with a sag here and there, wood chair legs nicked, metal table stands marked where decades of shoes kicked or rested.  Some faint muzac plays overhead.  People chat, waitresses weave in and out of the tables, arms laden; people eat.  It is a little cooler in the middle of the room and warmer in the booths against the east windows, their shades angled to keep the sun out of the eyes of patrons.

He isn’t cold.  His morning three mile walk has warmed him and built his appetite.

“No decaf, high octane,” he hands a menu back to the waitress, “bring me the Grand Slam; eggs fried.  Bacon and sausage.”

“Syrup or jelly for the pancakes?”  She writes on her order pad.

“Both.  And toast.  Add toast.”  He smiles again.

In my mind I walk into that diner and sit across from him.  His eyes light with love and joy at seeing me.  I hand him a wrapped box with a bow and a tag, Happy Eight-Eighth Birthday, Daddy.  His grin is awkward.

“You didn’t need to do this,” he pulls off the bow and peels off the paper.

I smile at the memory of his strength, his stamina, his love for life, his drive to make a difference in his world, his sharp grasp of things political, sociological and spiritual.  His ability to still lift the hedge trimmer and the edger and to navigate the lawn mower.  His confidence that still sent him onto the garage roof to trim a dead plum tree limb and God’s grace that urged him safely back to the ground just minutes before a 4.2 on the Richter scale hit.  He was fearless and bold.  Even at eighty-eight.  Mother called it reckless and foolish.

I hang on to the scenes of his life, vitality and joy.  They weren’t our last scenes.  Those were hospice and changing diapers and giving morphine and a skeleton pushing through translucent, whisper weight skin.  I skim past those and hang on to a truth.  Those last days were just the cocoon breaking open, setting his soul free.

I miss him.  I ache.  I cry.  I smile at his silly sense of humor.  I breathe in the certainly he’s there waiting for me; in eternity with the Creator.

Mother has made it at last to the kitchen.  I turn to her,

“Morning, Mother,” I smile.  Daddy and Mother were like night and day together.  Being here with her and remembering him, I see the differences no longer matter.  Daddy lived his beliefs and then he gave up his cause to the young.  Mother is nearly there.

My journey continues.  I have a choice.  I begrudge the time I no longer have with Daddy.  I get irritated at the task of being with Mother.  I watch any brighter, bigger purpose and meaning shrivel up while I trudge through the mundane.  I feel myself drowning.

image source:blingee

image source:blingee

I reach for a lifeline and I’m pulled up to keep walking, to take the steps onward.  I take heart from Daddy’s life.  I slough off the dread, the weight of unfulfilled expectations.  I let go of the hurts, imagined or real.  I remember the love, I remember the promise of eternity.  I believe.  I carry my cause, forged in the smelt of their influence, with honor.  I’ll keep on, until it’s my turn to leave a cause for the young to carry.

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10 thoughts on “Carry on……

  1. Just wanted to stop by and say your writing is lovely. My memories of my parents are fond; I, too, choose the heartwarming memories. We are called to think on things that are lovely, excellent, admirable, pure and worthy of praise. I think you have done that here. Bless you and your writing journey.

    • It’s all a work in progress, because that what Jesus promises to do in our lives, but to be honest, much of my memoir work on my Mother is driven out of frustration and anger. I am beginning to see, just recently, how God is healing me of the dysfunction in my relationship with her. My guess is that by the time she leaves this earth, I will have learned to love her as well as I loved my precious Daddy, and I didn’t think that would ever happen. God is good.

      • I know the feeling. Mine is the opposite: dad/mom. I didn’t get to reconcile with my father before he died, and was angry and hurt for many years; he was abusive and just closed the closet door of my mind on him.

        I’ve been able to see that he learned how to be a parent from his own extremely abusive father. He did the best he could with what he knew. And in knowing that,

        I’ve also come to realize that discipleship is a lifelong journey – as you said, a work in progress. One of my Bible study teachers said that he thinks we’ll still be learning in heaven, just at a faster rate. Thinking that I may very well be an eternal student, I can certainly give myself a break here on earth.

        • That’s a great thought that we will continue learning. I’m so looking forward to the freedom from all frailties we have here and the joy we will have in knowing God, being able to accept the full love of Jesus and the fun we will have in exploring all that God has created. Personally, I want to travel through wormholes like they do in SciFi stories! Ha! But most of all, to be with Jesus – what a blessed relief.

  2. That’s a great thought that we will continue learning. I’m so looking forward to the freedom from all frailties we have here and the joy we will have in knowing God, being able to accept the full love of Jesus and the fun we will have in exploring all that God has created. Personally, I want to travel through wormholes like they do in SciFi stories! Ha! But most of all, to be with Jesus – what a blessed relief.

  3. You made me cry at the memory of your wonderful father, and your Mother is wonderful, too. Sometimes we don’t see it until our loved one is gone.

    • Sharon, thank you. You’re exactly right and I want to let God heal me now, so that I can appreciate and enjoy right where I’m at – difficulties and all.

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