This is going to be a brutal post so family members be warned. You might want to come back tomorrow when I talk about soap.
This has been a rough 48 hours. The Mister and I had just gotten down to serious tiling when the phone rang. It was the call I had been dreading for two weeks. Daddio's cremated remains were ready to be picked up.
It was Thursday morning and I was already in the midst of a total cry fest. I always went to see Daddio on Thursdays. I told the funeral home I would come get him on Friday morning since I was in no shape to make the trip on a Thursday. The Mister and I carried on with the tile and got a grand total of two tiles cut. Not much to show for an entire day but they were two hard cuts and I was pretty much useless as an assitant.
That night I had to rearrange my stash closet because that's where Mom has been waiting patiently for Dad to join her.
Since I sold Daddio's house I had to bring her here. She is tucked away out of sight behind some lovely wool. Now Daddio is with her on the top shelf.
Carrying your loved one's ashes across a parking lot is a surreal experience. I remember how strange it was to go gather up Mom. But as hard as yesterday was, Daddio made it harder. Back at home when I was situating them together I happened to move Mom's bible that I had tucked into the pretty gift bag that held her ashes and her favorite fishing hat. A note fell out. I had never seen it before. It was from....Daddio. He had written to Mom on a piece of hospital stationary " when I get where you are, please don't run, walk slowly so I can catch up with you.
I pretty much went to pieces when I realized what I had just read. The Mister scooped me up and took me down to the bay with a pack of Kleenex so I could work it out in the place Mom and Dad loved the most. In the spring, The Mister will sail their ashes out and disperse them into the water which was what they both wanted.
I should also add that while going through Daddio's personal papers last week I had found a note written to us days after Mom's death where he talked about his desire to join her. Referencing his own death he ended with...." shed not a tear but rejoice and look upon the stars and we will be smiling down upon you. Mom and I forever.
" You know I'll never look at stars the same way again.
My old man, who was one of seven boys fostered out to work camps during the great depression and who never went to school, sure had a way with words.
When I got home from my cry fest by the bay, there was a big package on the porch. It was the materials I needed to sandwich Daddio's last quilt.
For those of you who don't know, Daddio got into quilting after Mom died. He found her sewing box and began to paper piece the scraps of material into a quilt which sparked his passion. That's the leftovers of my first wedding dress-the red gingham (!) and the maternity tops Mom made for me in that quilt. He gifted it to his first great granddaughter.
I know it's silly but that box of quilting supplies on my porch was like Dad's final message to me. Get on with it girl, you've got a quilt to finish. Stop your bawling and get to work. Maybe not today Dad, I still have some tears to shed-but tomorrow for sure.
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! My sweet friend you definitely had a day didn’t you? I so enjoyed reading more about your Dad and Mom though. I hate to be the one to tell you that it never gets easier. I lost my parents so young and I miss them to this day. But my memories are always there, waiting to be snatched back and I cherish them as I know you do too. The quilts are a lasting legacy and those notes.... well, I just have no words at all. My prayers are with you. I’m so glad you have the Mister. Love and Blessings always,ReplyDelete
I think you got many messages sent to you my friend. I know they are together and so very happy right now. My parents were the same way. My father simply did not want to live without my Mom, he had the hardest time. You are so blessed to have these messages of their love for each other and their love for you. I understand walking across the parking lot with ashes, I have done it twice. My parents went out to sea, I never understood that as my Mom loved the water but didn't know how to swim. It just struck me as odd. Hang in there my friend.ReplyDelete
what blessed memories you have of two very loving and in love people, praying your days fill with ease even though your heart will always rememberReplyDelete
This is a really wonderful post and I thank you for sharing. Like so many people of their remarkable generation your parents met struggles head-on. My children and I often talk about "full circle" moments where experiences seem to close around us in unexplainable and comforting ways.ReplyDelete
Prayers and comfort - Liza
What a note. What loving thoughts. Walk dont run so I can catch up to you. OH my gosh. I read that to Fireman. Grief. It is such a wave of emotion. Bless you . Hugs to you my pal. GO ahead grieve. You certainly loved your father and your mother. Now you can try to remember him in his best days instead of his worst. And you were there for him in his worst days. PeaceReplyDelete
Deb ... I have no words. Your Daddio was certainly a very special man ...........so, get on with that quilt and do the man proud. And when the tears come, let them fall. Your Mom and Dad earned them --- so did YOU!ReplyDelete
Oh my. I can add nothing but to say you and all of your family are in my thoughts.ReplyDelete
Ok - I needed the kleenex just to get through your post!ReplyDelete
I'll share a story about ashes that I hope will make you smile...
When I grandfather died a couple years ago, Dad was in charge of his ashes. Grandpa wanted some to be put in an urn and placed with his second wife, Honey, at their space in the cemetery. The rest he wanted the family to do with as they felt right. A couple of my cousins (who were very close to him) took a small amount and had them set into lockets. But the urn for the cemetery was small, and each locket used about a 1/4 teaspoon. My grandfather was a big man... there were a lot of ashes left over!!! So my Dad, took the rest, and mixed them in with some black powder and loaded some rifle cartridges. That October, my grandfather went on one last hunting trip with his sons and grandson, and was fired out over all his favourite hunting spots.
And like your messages from Daddio, my grandfather had one for us. His service was grave side on a beautiful late September day. And just as the minister called for a moment of silence, a flock of Canada Geese passed over, honking away... to me, Grandpa Johnson, a true outdoorsman, did a fly by to say goodbye.
Your dad was clearly an amazing human being. He may not have had a lot of schooling, but he was not uneducated. And what an amazing marriage!ReplyDelete
It hurts so much because you lost a truly great human being. Yet he lives on through you and your family.
Since I have not walked the steps you are forging for yourself, I will not offer advice but say that you are doing your best and let grief slowly settle. The stories I know are healing for you-you have your dad's gift with words!ReplyDelete
Thank goodness for memories! You were a wonderful daughter and made your dad's last days bearable. Hugs to you! Get busy on that quilt and both your folks will be smiling down on you.ReplyDelete
Wow.....I'm crying right along with you....this is so touching....what a love story! He was such a beautiful quilt maker and I always thought that was so unusual and neat for a man. Now I know what inspired him to quilt and it's just a beautiful touching love story.ReplyDelete