Thursday, October 4, 2012


En route to your sick bed
I had an overwhelming sense
Of my mother's presence,
I felt she'd come to take you home.
And cried because I wanted you to live.

When the plane landed
I learned that was the time you died.
My brother said you were tired,
Winter was coming,
And last years had been hospital hard.
You said you'd missed our mom.

I sat beside your so much thinner paler shell,
Felt the cold still warm pulseless wrist,
And cried some more between prayers;
Thankful to have known you,
A great man, a very great man,
So wise, industrious, reliable and true
My now dead aunt said you were a handsome man.
A gentleman : Military, rugged, northern,
A leader of men and a family man,
Trusted and respected by all
Loved by my mother 60 years and more
My father, our father.

I feel bereft at times, more alone,
Numb and slightly afraid.
I cry discretely but don't know
If it's grief or self pity,
As my brother and I
Pack up your clothing
And few belongings
Last totems of a life;
RCAF hand carved clock,
Sketch of the Fort Garry family home
Photographs of my brother's
Mostly animals and birds,
Cammo Hunting cap, straw hat,
Good Sam cap, big faced watch, radio
Leather wallet with 5 dollar bills,
Flower vase, hearing aid,
Veterans wheelchair,
Lamps and dresser,
The smallness of material memento:
"You can't take it with you!"

Now we stand in the vastness of your love,
Creation, dreams and memories
That were yours to give.

My brother's family gathers for Thanksgiving Dinner,
At the grandson's home,
You loved the family turkey dinners,
And we'll miss you then as we've missed Mom
These last few years you've been apart,
And we've grown closer.

You were always there
And now you're gone.
I'm glad you were ready.
I hope I am.
God be with you

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

You used your gift of expression to capture and share this time with us. Thank you.

Tannis said...

'Dad' has captured it beautifully, Bill. Of course I remember John (my mother always called him ‘Jack’) but, more importantly, you are conveying a universal message that touches down to the core of those of us who have said our goodbyes. Thank you. –Tannis-

Anne Lindsay said...

Thanks for letting me know about your grief and letting me know your deceased father through your poetry.