It slipped up on me until I saw the date on my phone this morning, but fifteen years ago today, Dad went home. His absence still hovers around us in quiet places after all these years.
Dad’s missed multiple graduations – they would have bored him to death like my piano recitals, but he’d go because that was the grandfatherly thing to do and he so loved our three kids. He wouldn't even miss the college ones, or Jeff’s commissioning, if he could have physically made it, and he'd be so proud of who those three are becoming.
And he's missed three weddings – he’d fall in love with the ones our children chose, because he would know they chose well.
And four great grands that he would absolutely adore -- Titus, our favorite boy, smart, quiet and thoughtful. Elli, our happy hearted one, with big blue eyes, who keeps us laughing. Leala, our noticer of life with curly red hair and increasing opinions of her own. And beautiful strong-willed baby Asa…who looks just like her dad and acts just like her mom. He would love them each the best.
I miss my Dad. There was something magical about his blue eyes, they always twinkled with joy. There was something reassuring about his presence. Something wise and thoughtful about the way he lived his life.
Happy moving day, Dad. Have you in my heart.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Watching our son get married was a bit different for me than watching our daughters. Those of you who know me well know that I absolutely adore my daughters, but there’s something about a mom and her son… Somehow those little boys get under your skin in an unexplainable way. I looked at my hand-some, grown up man-of-a-son, holding the hands of his beautiful bride and vowing to love, lead, provide and protect her, and as I did he caught my eye and smiled his crooked little smile in my direction.
For the life of me I still saw a five year old with chubby little cheeks, a freckled little nose, dancing blue eyes, and a crooked little grin from nerve damage at birth. The pediatrician called it Bell’s Palsy, and reassured me at the time by saying, "Some day a little girl will fall in love with that crooked little smile. You’ll see." He was right. I remember the days Jeffrey climbed up in my lap in the rocker when he had fever, and we rocked for hours, or the days he snuggled on my shoulder for re-assurance, or the many days he urged me to come watch him shoot baskets in the afternoons, or the marathon Monopoly games we played, ten minutes at a time, before bedtime all winter long...Prom, graduation, college, graduation from Navy OCS. Time flies is an understatement.
As best we can, we cherish the moments. As best we can, we slow it all down and drink it all in. As best we can, we trust our kids to Jesus.
So if anyone is interested, I started crying when Titus (my 7 year old grandson) escorted his 86 year old great grandmother (my mom) down the aisle. It was a beautiful day to welcome a new daughter to the family, and a beautiful beginning to happily ever after. Congratulations Jeff and Jenna Marshall!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Bill and Virginia. A love story.
Today would have been my parents 65th anniversary. So i called Mom and asked her to tell me about the day she got married... Mom was 21 and Dad was almost 21, and this what she recounted. Parentheses are mine.
Granny made me a white wool gabardine dress with gold buttons. She sewed for the public, and it was a very nice dress. Dad wore a suit. We took the last bus out that afternoon, as it began to snow again, and headed for a borrowed efficiency apartment in Oklahoma City. Paul Artie (Dad's uncle) offered it to us for our wedding night - it was free...and since we had a total of $40 in our pockets, the price was right. Our window was broken on the bus, and we almost froze, it was so cold. There was so much ice everywhere that trees and limbs were broken all along the way and it looked like a disaster area. (I googled it, and found out it was -16 degrees that day in Ft. Towson...record low for that day. EVER.) Dad said it was a hell of a day to get married.
Paul Artie had been out of town for a while, so when we got to the little apartment, it was frigid. We turned on the open flame gas heaters and everything else to try to warm it up. Woke up with the worst headaches in the morning, skin felt creepy and we were just miserable all around. Dad asked me if I felt funny - then we both jumped up and started throwing open the windows and turning off the gas, realizing the gas had eaten up all the oxygen in the apartment and we had almost gassed ourselves. I was just about then thinking to myself, 'if this is what marriage is like...i want out!'"
They eventually made it on to Stillwater...and began to live happily ever after. For which i am thankful.
Mom and Dad, you did it right, and showed us what true love is. For better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part.