Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Let the Memory Live Again

I saw two first cousins on my mother's side that I rarely see. We met at our grandmother's funeral. It was my grandfather's farewell when we met the last time. Fifteen years brings quite a few changes with age being the one easiest to notice.

We spoke of times with my grandmother. As so many years separated them, the oldest of the grandchildren, from me, the youngest, we had only the taste of her food to share. The death, no the life of another took center stage.

Terry spoke of my father to my mother, sister and I. He lived in Pensacola when I was young, probably two or so. My father, still a Marine, found a student, a friend in my cousin. Dad picked him up from high school to take him fishing in our boat, The Sea Duck. We laughed as Terry admitted that he had his first beer with Uncle Tom. He learned to be prepared for long weekend days fishing by making his own sandwich. I'm sure my father roughed it, bringing only what he needed. We smiled at the man we all knew. A man we all loved.

At my grandmother's funeral, we kept the tradition of giving her something to take with her. My father started that by giving a pocketknife to his father-in-law before closing the casket. We did this to honor my grandmother, but we'd be lying if we didn't admit that my father's actions hadn't influenced us.

Today marks two years without him. Two years since I heard my mother tell me the horrible news. We admit that we are better than we were a year ago, but even that has its own sadness.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, Sarabeth, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad he was such a remarkable man.

jmb said...

A tough day for you and your family Sarabeth.
I put my brother's favourite tie from Paris in his casket. No tradition but I thought it a nice idea.

nola said...

Love the picture. I am sorry for the loss you continue to feel. I suffer the same for my grandmother.

Sarabeth said...

Thank you for the words and thoughts.

Nola, the picture is from many years ago, when my father rehabbed a small boat, which he dubbed the SS Nole (as in Florida State Seminoles). We drug it to the beach, launched it in the waves at the shore, and towed a large, inflatable raft behind it. Dad took on the role of the skipper, beer in hand, watching the landmarks on the shore so we wouldn't drift too far on those days. We might have even tried to fish from the Nole. One of my family members will have to remember. This image makes me smile, grainy as it is. He's relaxed, happy, reveling in the family around him--the people that he loved.

We feel the hole that his death left in our lives. That hole is still black. Only the edges are less jagged.

dragon knitter said...

speaking from my own experience, it doesn't get any less black. it's just not the stygian darkness it was before. the memories are more prevalent now, than thepain of his passing.