A James Joyce moment.

Hi Dad.

Nobody told me how hard nights like this would be to get through.  I expected sorrowful moments to happen on special occasions when the seat that used to be occupied by you was empty.  Not nights like this one…nothing special, just me and my pjs and my computer and my thoughts of you.  I feel your presence every day, and I hear your words so much it sometimes makes me laugh out loud.  But it’s when I stop “doing” and just “be” that the realization you are not coming back here really hurts.  I think about how lucky we were to have had you.  Of course I do that.  I think about how happy you were here with us, and how happy you made your grandchildren.  Of course I do that.  But I think that you never were able to see Shane wrestle.  I never heard you yell “Go Shane-o!”  from the bleachers.  We never heard you say how strong he is.  I want to hear you tell him he should be a running back, like you did hundreds of times; each time with such conviction.  I want those things on nights like this.  I want to hear you talking with Greg on the couch while Sixty Minutes is on in the background…ticking away- that tick that always drives me crazy.  I want you to come into the kitchen and open my cabinets and grab some Cheez-its.  I want to hear you say “I think Mum and I are gonna go now.”  I am sad because you didn’t get to congratulate Hope and Emma today on their first airplane flight without any parents.  I want to hear you tell them its a “nice country, huh!” because they are in Naples swimming in the pool and driving the golf cart.  We took Chad to Bertucci’s tonight and he ate two slices of pizza.  I want you to ask me if he’s eating any better.  I want to hear you say to him,  “You gotta eat Chad.  You gotta eat.”  Shane is out on the town with his friends, but if you were here, I’ll bet he would be here too.  He keeps close tabs on Mum now that you are not here.  He makes her laugh. I want you to bear witness to Emma’s continued drama.  God love her, she’s a sweetheart,  but man can she turn on the drama.  I want you to chuckle to yourself at how many times a day Emma cries…like you did when you would work here.  I can hear your laughter now.  I read something that basically said, “missing someone is not about the last time you spoke to them or saw them…it’s about being in the middle of doing something and looking up, expecting them to be there.”  I miss you tonight.  Just a regular old Sunday night in February with nothing going on.  Nobody told me that these would be the hardest kind of nights.  You are in my heart forever….on my mind always.



p.s. Chad loves almonds!  Who would have guessed.

Should You Go First

Should you go first and I remain

To walk the road alone,

I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear,

With happy days we’ve known

In Spring I’ll wait for roses red,

When fades the lilac blue,

In early Fall, when brown leaves call

I’ll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain

For battles to be fought,

Each thing you’ve touched along the way

Will be a hallowed spot

I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile,

Though blindly I may grope,

The memory of your helping hand

Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain

To finish with the scroll,

No length’ning shadows shall creep in

To make this life seem droll.

We’ve had our cup of joy,

And memory is one gift of God

That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,

One thing I’d have you do:

Walk slowly down that long,lone path,

For soon I’ll follow you.

I’ll want to know each step you take

That I may walk the same,

For some day down that lonely road

You’ll hear me call your name

~A.K. Rowswell


8 responses

  1. Carolyn: Jack and I have just finished reading these beautifully written thoughts of your Dad. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to have just a few more minutes to be able to tell him this. But you and I both know that he hears your thoughts and is so proud of your ability to express them. It’s a wonderful gift that few of us have been lucky enough to be able to do, but you have it and it’s spectacular! Love you, Ann

  2. I am, as ever, in awe of someone who can articulate so simply and clearly their most deeply felt thoughts. You remind us that this is all a journey. It doesn’t end, but the road ahead keeps changing and we along with it. The people whom we have lost are still with us on our journey but not in the way we want them to be. We take them with us in our hearts so they won’t miss a moment, but we will always miss the sound of their voices, their smiling faces, and the feeling of their arms around us.

  3. Pingback: daily prompt: time capsule: | lifewithcal

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