Always – lament for a father taken too soon

Always; 2013; 20" x 14 1/2"; mixed media: collage using ink, watercolor, pencil, charcoal and pastel.

Always; 2013; 20″ x 14 1/2″; mixed media: collage using ink, watercolor, pencil, charcoal and pastel.

On a balmy October afternoon, we gathered on a green slope saturated with sinking-sun amber light. Sentinel trees swayed in a swan dance of brilliant-hued Autumn. We clustered amidst names engraved in stone, contemplating the eternal promise of Scripture, swelling with tears to the last lingering notes of Amazing Grace.

Each of us clutched a red rose, one last offering to one so loved. Placing mine, I knelt in crinkling leaves. I faced purple mountain shadows he loved so much: translucent layers of late-day glimmer, sheltering myriad memories there. Head bowed, two thoughts emerged from cluttered sorrow:

Thanksgiving, unmarred gratitude for nothing left undone or unsaid; love freely flowing, given and received.

And a gut level plea for one taken too soon: only that somehow his influence could be known by my precious children, deprived of his physical presence long before we were ready.

So much he could have taught them. Names of flowers and constellations, love for country, lore of Native American culture and rumbling trains, respect for untamable wilderness, unyielding passion for wife and family, most of all relentless wrestling with God until blessing comes, even unto surrender of death.

Now all treasure is hidden with him where he is, except for rich deposits buried over years in soul-soil of those he loved so well. Oh that I might plum heights and depths, vivid storyteller may I become, so that they may see him in their hearts. As he lives always and forever in mine.

6 thoughts on “Always – lament for a father taken too soon

  1. What a sweet remembrance of Fergie. All the things we wished he could pass on but can’t. Sad for All of us that remain. Love you

    Dave

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  2. Not on that beach walk yet. I delayed reading this when it came because I was convinced it would make me sad and I didn’t want to be sad that day. I saw it before shutting down the computer and thought if I felt sad I could pray about it as I walked the beach and listened to the ocean, being reminded of the power of God through the ocean.

    When I first met your dad, I knew in an instant that he was special. It was more than being smart and talented. I sensed he had special gifts even though I didn’t know what all of them were at that time. His stroke will always be one of those life’s questions for me – why him? why so young when he still had so much to do? why, when he was so valuable as an ambassador for Christ? Why? These are questions to ask Jesus when we see him face to face someday. Ah, but then I know… that when we see Jesus, those questions won’t matter anymore! Love you tons! Mum

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