Saturday, December 27, 2014

Got Through All the Firsts; What About all the Rests?

Dear Dad, today is your (earthly) birthday.
While I’m thinking of you, and truly missing you more so today,
I stop and wonder, whatcha doing up there in eternity?

Do you get a trip; a ticket down here
unbeknownst to us?
When I talk or even think; do you overhear?
Where ya perched on the corner of my bed?
While I delayed getting outta it,
knowing it was another holiday without you?
Or is that any old day or eternal moment instead?

When I think to visit your grave,
are you more there;
just cuz that’s where your remains lay?
As if you’re its slave?

Today you would’ve been sixty-five.
In the grand scheme, still young.
Why couldn’t we revive,
you from the cancer that claimed you;
why didn’t you survive?

As I stare out the window glass,
through the bare branches,
and partly cloudy sky, that tell me it’s a,
California winter,
I wonder if this winter,
this mourning; this grieving;
will melt away more and the flowers will show,
its colors to me again.
Or better yet; when?

As much as I acknowledge,
this long winter isn’t,
at it’s harshest;
that the patches of snow are melting.
I wonder when the full colors,
of spring will renew me,
and the sorrow and grief will be all but abolished.

Steams of memories; like streams of consciousness,
I cling to.
Your voice,
you facial expressions,
The way you hugged,
the mannerisms you carried yourself with,
I hang on to.
And if I’m honest,
I’m scared if I don’t preserve your memory,
I’ll be letting you go; and losing you that much more.

Walls and pages of photographs,
that tell your story,
through your ages,
hit me like a double edged sword.
While it’s the only way I can see your face,
and it heals me temporarily,
it also makes me wish the picture I was stroking,
could be your skin or any kind of trace.

Being past the year mark,
of your passing,
I’ve heard, many a times:
once all the “first” holidays,
are behind,
some more peace seems to disembark.
And while I will agree,
I wonder,
what about all the “rest?”
When will I truly be set free
and feel truly like me?

This past Thanksgiving, spent with your side,
was indeed comforting.
And while tears inevitably poured,
the grieve of your loss was truly at low tide.
Perhaps the presence of your brother,
Mike and his family,
made your presence more pronounced,
and the grief hadn’t sustained like any time other.

Even this Christmas Eve, as I sat,
in the church pew with Joey on my side,
and Mom in the choir loft singing carols and alleluias,
I wanted so badly,
for times of Christmas Eves pasts where you,
were there, 
on my other side. 
And it didn’t end there…
Unwrapping gifts addressed from one parent,
that obviously didn’t include you,
hit me like the stomach flu.

And so, I wonder…
while your death isn’t as fresh,
as it was, almost sixteen months ago,
what will every other holiday
without you be like?

When I turn thirty,
without you, and thinking of you;
will I be sturdy?
Ten Christmases from now,
when I’m possibly married,
will your physical absence allow
stories to be recalled,
of the father you were
to some children of my own
will you be around then, when they’re
all grown;
to admire and watch over your grand-kids
like you have so many times for me?

Even in the short span
your physical self, departed,
I can recount times I felt
your spirit around me.
One recently, when a van ran
a red light, and nearly hit me and my sudan.

Times like these, give me comfort
of your long love, and continued care
amist my declining despair.
Still, I remain patient

of that unceasing and amazing grace from both Him and you. 

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