Monday, March 2, 2009

Same Time Next Year

Today my Dad would have been 78 years old. I usually don't communicate more than I need to on this day every year. It's a day of melancholy that I allow myself to have. I'm not very social or productive in the days leading up to this one day. It is only the third time I've come here without him.
My Dad was the only one that shared my love of family history. He was always interested in what I had found and always asked how things were going. He never stopped me when I would get started on a story. He loved to hear. At least he made me feel like he did.
I miss him in so many ways. I miss him because he was my hero, always there ready to save me, sometimes from myself. He was my champion; stood by me through it all. Always strong; always steady. He was warm and loving; always saw life as an adventure, always looked ahead.
When he took his leave of this life, it was such a shock to all 4 of us. The stroke took him without warning or hesitation. We'd never seen him weakened, nor infirm. He was like his beloved mountain, strong, unshakable and unchanging. We never thought of life without him. He left with a great swiftness that left us all breathless and shocked. Time has forced me to look at it; to be grateful that a man unable to sit down for more than 15 minutes at a time and could never tolerate the slow, painful path that age forces many to take, simply sat down in his chair and left after a busy morning in his garden. There is a terrible gratitude inside me that he never knew suffering or infirmity. But he is loved and missed so.
Though my mood is pensive and my thoughts so far away I know with certainty that the sun will again rise and a new day be born. This year it feels different. Just as painful. But this time it feels like life is a tiny crocus forcing it's way through half-frozen earth and snow; upwards to open itself and blaze color in a cold, sleeping world, paying homage to the sun; heralding in a new, joyful cycle of growth and warmth, once again a chance to begin anew.
So, when this day comes to a close I will get up and begin the process of catching up on tasks I put aside so that I could mourn. And I will catch up; life will go on. I will try to get the memories out of my heart and onto paper so that all those unknown and yet to be descendants will have a sense of who he was.
Rufus L. Brock
March 2, 1931 - June 14, 2006

And so it goes. I'll be here, same time next year.
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