Monday, November 19, 2007

on again, off again, and a poem

When Dad died in March this year, it started a cascade of bad news. For those not following the blog, let me give you the readers digest versions. Dad dies in March. Three weeks and five day later, Tammy's father dies. Two days later, my grandmother dies. A week later, one of my great aunts dies. As we are returning from the funeral of the great aunt, we find out that our next door neighbor died.

Then there was a brief respite.

Fast forward to October. Tammy's grandmother dies. Two weeks later (Sunday) my Mom calls me to tell me that the last remaining (I think) of my great aunts has died. So, you can see that it has been a very tough year, by any standards.

One of the things that changed when Dad died was one of my favorite holiday traditions. Every year on Christmas Eve, we would all gather at Mom and Dad's to celebrate, eat a holiday meal, and exchange gifts. The usual crowd would range between 45 and 55 participants. We would be together for about six hours. There would be no fighting, arguing, exchanging harsh words, or anything like that. It was six hours of peace and happiness with 50 or so of your closest relatives.

Mom decided that she didn't want to have the family gathering at the house this year, because it would be very hard for her, since Dad was gone. They had been together for 56 years. We all respected her wishes.

Then, last week, Mom informs me that she is going to have a Christmas dinner at her house for the family, but no gift exchange. Too which I responded, "Cool."

Yesterday, as I was driving home from church, I started thinking about Christmases of the past and thought about how this Christmas Dinner would be without Dad. I was in bed last night, when I had to get up and spit out my heart. Here is what came out:

He is here

I look in his chair and he isn’t there
But he’s here

I look at the counter where he would often sit

and he isn’t there
But he is here

I glance to the head of the table where he often ate

and he isn’t there
But he is here

He isn’t in the chair by the computer
But he is here

He isn’t on the phone talking to Germany
But he is here

All of the places I used to see him, he is not there
But he is here

He is here in this ones eye
He is here in that ones story
He is there in that laugh
He is over there in that tear

Everywhere I look are fleeting glimpses of him

He is there
And there
And there
And even over there

Someone told me that Dad would never be gone

as long as I was alive
And I agree

But more than me
There are five more, daughters and a son
That he lives within

There are sons in laws and daughters in laws

that keep him here
There are grandchildren that carry him as well

There is Mom
Doing what Mom does
And holding him close
Because he is here

He is here in every memory
That brings a smile or a tear
And sometimes both

He is not here (arms out)
But he is here (arms in)



Retro Girl said...

He is here, on this page...and in your heart forever, my friend.
and I know he is very proud of you.

Love you my friends, Ron & Tammy...
Have a blessed holiday. Take care.


Brighton said...

That was beautiful. I am so sorry for all of the losses you have had. When it rains, it pours, but there is a rainbow at the end. You and Tammy have a wonderful holiday together : )