Monday, September 29, 2014

Full Circle

The ticking of the old clock and the hum of the air conditioner were the only sounds that penetrated the quiet of the living room. She sat on the couch kitty-corner to his new chair, the one that would do the work of his aging knees, and thought about life - the way it so often comes full circle.

Her husband and mother had gone grocery shopping, and she was sitting with her Dad. The fogginess that often clouded his mind made them all uneasy about leaving him alone. So she sat with the one who had taken care of her for so many years.

A book lay on the cushion next to her. Her mother had said he would probably sleep the whole time. But the book remained unopened while he chatted about the weather and the neighbors. Then the conversation shifted to the war - to the stories she had heard so often but never often enough.

She sat spell-bound, as always, while he recited the names and places and made the war come to life.  Her mind drifted to thoughts of her only sister - the one who, ten years before, had inexplicably walked out of their lives.

"All of these precious moments," she thought, "and she's missing them all. How will she feel when she has nothing to hold on to?"

Together, her Dad and her, they crossed the ocean on the Queen Elizabeth, walked the moors of England on three day hikes, drove a jeep into the waters off Omaha Beach and narrowly missed death on more than one occasion.

His eyes became heavy. The clock ticked. She picked up her book and read.



lil red hen said...

How wonderful you can spend these precious times with your dad. I sometimes wish my dad and I could have been closer; he always made me feel not quite good enough.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately my dad died with a heart attack (age 58) when I was 19 years old. I was always sheltered and very immature. I never got to talk to him as an adult. My mother and I were very close though. She lived until 1999 (age 87). I talked to her every day. We lived next door. I loved my conversations with my mama. For some crazy reason, I now have thought about a lot of things I didn't fully discuss with her. They are things I desperately want to know. I want to know about her days as a child. What did she do? What year did she move to Arkansas from Louisiana (in that covered wagon that took them three months to get here). Show me exactly where you lived at Noble Lake. Let's drive there and look at that. Can we talk about my brother who was killed by some falling lumber when he was 4 years old? Is it too painful to talk about that? I just wish I would have asked more about her life as a child. All the Aunts and Uncles are gone too. There's no one left to answer my questions. You are right, Linda. Sit there and talk to your Dad. Talk to your Mom. Ask a lot of questions. Think of questions to ask even if you have to write them down. After they're gone, you'll want to know more. I wish I could talk to mine again.

Ann Kroeker said...

Oh, wow, this is beautiful. Precious moment, and the surprise of such clarity when you were told to expect a nap!

Linda said...

Thank you for your wise words, Ann. I'm so sorry you didn't get to have those conversations with your Mom. It isn't easy to ask those questions. We want to be sure we don't cause them pain.I promise to hold tight to these special moments and then pass them on to our children and grandchildren. Thank you again.

Linda said...

I'm so sorry Charlotte. I know that hurt your heart.

Linda said...

Thank you Ann. Yes - it was a good time.

S. Etole said...

So well told. I feel as though I were sitting there with you. How I miss my parents and their gentle ways.