Friday, December 07, 2007

Dec. 7 -- A journey in time


Tis the season...
...and it always will be.

The season when memories of Dad's diagnosis, surgery, death and memorial, blend into the early weeks of Advent. Last year, I kept a journal marking the fortnight between Dec. 5, 2005, when I prepared to leave for Texas and Dad's surgery, and Dec. 19, the day of his memorial service. It was a challenge to myself to enter into an act of creativity in response to whatever came up for me each day.
This year, I did not feel a need to mark the fortnight in its entirety. (Though I am rereading last year's journal.)

But Dec. 7 will forever be a day that lives in memory, transformed for me from that Day of Infamy much of the rest of the world remembers into a day of wonderful memory of a car drive across Texas and time that drew my family together in appreciation of life and one another. I wrote about it here. Dad was a member of the Texas Folklore Society, published in their publications and sometimes presenting papers at their annual gathering. This year, the subject of their publication is death and dying, and my mother encouraged me to offer this essay to them. She maintains that she did not call Paul Simon a dork. We disagree. But otherwise, we both remember this day as magical, supernatural, a gift of time.

This Dec. 7, I have better clarity about who I am and what that means for my future, this is a result of lots of work in seminary and ministry, in friendship and in prayer. And I am grateful, though I still wish I could run some of it by Dad. I miss his wisdom.

My own parental wisdom had a minor moment of triumph today. Sent to the bookstore on the task of finding a specific book for a friend of Ryan's, I knew exactly where to find the Pokemon books at Barnes & Noble. Turns out Ryan had actually promised his friend that this would be his birthday gift. I hope my parental wisdom can always serve Ryan as well as my Dad's served me.


Time Travel

Two years ago we drove across Texas,
Celebrating or lives, our family,
Delighting in laughter and fried okra,
Knowing that time and life were short,
But not realizing just how short for you.

2 comments:

Coconutbug said...

though i am often self-absorbed, especially lately, i did not forget about your dec. 7. in fact, i was thinking of it earlier today. but i did forget to tell you that i remember this fortnight with you. xoxo

Jeri said...

I remember that blog and that memory will always be with me of that special car ride you experienced with your family. Though I can't promise that I'll always remember the date, I'll not forget talking to you about it in the dorm...it is a picture memory.