In Memory of Pops…

August 14th, 2013

Three years.

It has been three years since my Dad died.

36 months.

Still, it doesn’t seem possible.

Still I expect to see him at the store, hunched over, his purple hands dangling at his side, his glasses filthy from some chore he was doing at home.

Whenever I go over to the house, I feel his presence; silent as always, sitting in an armchair, reading the paper while Mum and I prattle on about things.

And still, still every day do I think of him. Even after 1,000 days, I think of him.

I have been remiss in visiting my Dad’s special place, where Great Blue Herons roost. But on this solemn anniversary, after work I will make the trek there. And I think I’ll take Andi along. My father would have liked Andi. I always thought that in retirement my Dad would have gotten a dog, someone to keep him company on his long, solitary walks.

Here’s to you, Pops. Just wanted to let you know you are always in my thoughts. It’s not the anniversary I wish to celebrate, but I celebrate this day in your honor.

Earlier today, at my new job, an older gentleman came in. His name was Al, and he was 80 years old. He took out a batch of work, 35mm photos that he had produced, and we chatted for over 25 minutes.

His first piece he ever did was of a Great Blue Heron, and I thought that his presence in this store was somehow an appearance of my Dad, incognito, stopping by to say hello.

It was quite touching to watch this old man, explaining his process, how he has done this ‘hobby’ for the past 53 years. I looked into his eyes and saw the passion and kindness that enabled him to produce these exquisite works.

All the time listening to him, it reminded me of my father, how out of blue he would regale some untold tale of his youth, and I would be rapt.

I bid the old man a pleasant day and I thought that, for the briefest of moments, it was indeed my Dad incarnated. He had stopped by, on this anniversary, to say hello.

Dad, may rest, calm, and peace be yours.

Take care, Pops. I love you.

Your son, Paul.

Copyright, 2013, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.

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3 responses to “In Memory of Pops…

  1. Sad in many ways – and yet lovely. I know it sounds contradictory, Paul, but these and many other emotions welled within, as I read and felt for you.

    About 15 years ago, I lost someone very close and sought that person – no, searched for and saw that person in people I met. It was bitter sweet. I don’t ever want to live through that again.

    We’ll always remain a child to our parents. I lost my Dad when I was three years old – never really felt a father’s love.

    I try hard – and often fail – to be the best father I can be to my son and two girls. I worry sick for them and love them more then life. I know my three lovelies love me dearly – what Great Gifts from God.

    Reading your words, I admire and better appreciate what a son’s love can be – how I wish, I could have known my Dad too.

    You are right – he is definitely in a better place.

    All good blessings my friend,
    Eric
    P/s Sorry that my comment is somewhat incoherent.

    • My Dear Eric,

      Such touching words do you compose, and I am exceedingly grateful, not only for your message but for taking the time to write such heartfelt passages. And they remain not incoherent in the least.

      ‘My three lovelies’. How perfect is what you describe. I have two stepsons, but they too remain my worry and I love them dearly.

      I am not their father. Nor do I wish to replace their Dad. I am merely here to give them my love, my support, my guidance, and to watch them blossom.

      Many years ago, the eldest of the two, during an argument, yelled at me and said, “You’re not my father!” And I replied, “You are right. I am not your father. But when you are with me there are certain rules and behavior that both your mother and I expect.”

      He has since been an honor roll student in college and has done quite well for himself.

      Your comment about losing your Dad when you were three, how utterly terrible to not have known your father in his prime. My father as well lost his father, when my Dad was 24 years old. His Dad collapsed in his arms on the couch and breathed his last.

      Like you, my father never had the chance to watch his Dad grow old. I, however, did have the chance, to watch him age, to see him through the advancement of various ailments, of seeing him become that hunched and purple fellow.

      But still. Still it seems…too soon to have had him taken away. Tears still well to have written that past sentence. And perhaps you are right; that maybe it should remain as it is and not seek a resemblance in other folk who echo the sundry idiosyncrasies of my Dad.

      Thank you, Eric. From the top of my heart for your well-formed thoughts and for your own personal sadness. I cannot fathom to have not known my father at all and I am, despite my lingering sadness, grateful for the decades I did have with my father–Pops.

      Your words mean a lot, Eric. I appreciate them very much.

      I bid you a most restful and pleasant evening and, when time permits, I will relish delving into your own past passages soon.

      With fond wishes for happiness and eternal smiles,
      Paul

  2. Dear Paul,

    It is not that I want the last word – but your words touch me, as always.

    When I think of my Dad, my eyes wet – and I know how you must feel. Having the pleasure of knowing him (your Pops) only accentuates the pain for you, I believe.

    I wrote about my Dad in the very first post of my blog – if you care to read. You don’t have to but if you so wish > http://wp.me/s1YE83-aw

    Peace and gentle thoughts coming your way,
    Eric

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