Autumn begins…

9/22/10
Autumn begins…
Did you ever feel like you were standing at the edge of a great precipice and that for want of just the right footing, great things awaited you on the other side? Yesterday was a day of such angst. I saw number patterns in everything I saw. License plates, clocks, house addresses…even the cable channels. No matter what I was doing or where I looked; the numbers were everywhere … teasing with untold wisdom. It was also Charley’s Birthday and while I received information- I do not know if it is the gift that I have been waiting for. Silly, I know. It was Charley’s Birthday and yet I sat waiting patiently at the end of my day waiting for a gift. A gift of information I was certain he would manipulate my way.
All day I kept vigil- for a call, an email… a whisper. And it dawned on me. Those things were important to me- not him and maybe… just maybe, I did receive my gift and I did not recognize it as such, because I was looking for something more nefarious. Something tied to the case. Infact I recall looking at the clock last night at 11:56 P.M. and thought- I’m sorry Charley. I thought I would have something earth shattering to share with you before midnight- and quite frankly- visa-versa. Mostly because whenever I hit brick walls in this case- I throw my hands up in the air, ask for help and he comes to my aid. And so I waited … thinking- I gave him nothing but lip service. I wished him a Happy Birthday every time I thought about him, but it never felt as though it was enough. I would have bought him a card, but to where would I have sent it? I would have baked him a cake, but hey- Who are we kidding! I would have eaten most of it and I really don’t need that right now!
Determined to do more, I thought about what else I could do that might be extra meaningful. My phone rang and I couldn’t get to it on time- so I had to replay my voicemails. I have many I saved- some just because…
Let me explain.
Even though all I could do was say the words and wish Charley a happy day, I was reminded once by my father that an act of remembrance is a gift in itself. On my father’s 82 Birthday I remember trying to call him several times that day. No answer. Each time, I called; I was forced to leave a message. Later that evening, he finally called back and had to leave me a message because I was at work. He had gotten up early that day. Brought the phone into the bathroom with him, so as not to miss any calls and then accidentally left his cell phone in his housecoat that morning- hung in the bathroom closet and had spent the entire day wondering why he had not heard from any of his ten children! When he finally realized he did not have his cell phone with him, he retraced his steps. Between kids and grandkids his phone had over 37 phone calls from all of us trying to wish him a Happy Birthday. The message he left on my phone in return is still there.
My father died three weeks after he left it and at the time I thought his response odd. Instead of saying thanks for calling to wish me a Happy Birthday; he said- “Thanks for the act of remembrance”. After his death- it finally hit me. Perhaps he knew somehow that his message would remain with me not just for the “occasion” of his Birthday- but for the remainder of my life.
I cannot tell you how many times I have played it over and over again- just to hear him speak my name- to hear him remind me that I too shared an important role in his heart. So for Charley, I wanted to give him more than just a “Happy Birthday” wish on such a special day. If I were to be perfectly honest- I thought perhaps someone would call or write of some snippet of information that would be just the piece I need to close this puzzle out and that I could present him with a finished package. All the details, evidence and conjectures tied up in a pretty little box and bow.
Instead – always the mentor and guide, Charley gave me something even more precious. At exactly 11:56 P.M. I got a call from my middle daughter who had moved out to be on her own earlier in the summer. She thought for certain I would still be up doing homework and wanted to chat for a minute. At exactly 11:59 P.M.- she lost the fresh patina of maturity and in a tiny voice liken to the precocious child she’d always been, told me that though she was glad she had moved out to try life on her own- she loved me, she missed me and didn’t want to go to bed without letting me know that. We spoke for one minute more before and as we both yawned and said our good nights- the clock struck midnight.
I got it. Subtle as a two ton truck, he is- my Charley. While I was waiting for spooky shadows to whisper to me about fictitious daggers in the night or early morning confessions of guilt by wayward strangers I may never meet- he was reminding me about the gifts that count. Solving his murder is one thing. Finding out what really happened to Rox and who she really was is another. But the thing that he wanted most for his Birthday is the gift he gave to me.
Thank you for the Birthday gift of “remembrance”, Charley…
As midnight struck and my daughter reminded me that I had a place of importance in her heart… I’m certain Charley’s daughter rolled over in her bed, gazed into the stars and in the same tiny voice liken to her as a child whispered…
“Daddy, I love you …I miss you and I didn’t want to go to bed without telling you so.”

2 Responses to “Autumn begins…”

  1. Don Powell Says:

    Terry,

    I found this throough the link on the email I received from WordPress. I am glad I checked it and maybe not so glad because it was a tear jerker to say the least.

    This was an awsome post! I guess I should expect it from such an awesome person. I love and admire you!

    Dad

  2. Marcos Bertling Says:

    Fantastic blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

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