Will you tell them that for me Charley…

11/26/10
I do apologize for having not written more yesterday, but the rigors of holiday productions seem to have taken over the day and it was gone before I knew it. None the less, I did not wish for the day to end without reaching out to people who have changed my life this past year. Do not get all maudlin and drool from one cheek or the other…
I simply meant that beyond the traditional familial infrastructures that pay due diligence to our evolution day in and day out- there are others, whose touch, while slight wields great power.

Last night, before the dust of holiday magic settled into the starlight of holiday slumber- I reached out for a brief moment to thank Rachael and Charley both for the gifts they have given me this year. As I have stated before- I am grateful to Charley for saving me from myself. And even more grateful to R for giving Charley back to Julie and my mother and father back to me. Were they lost you might ask? No… not they, but most certainly I.

This morning with faithful husband, canines and coffee by my side I watched a film. Not a great film, mind you… but a really good film that was perhaps necessary in the scheme of things. It is a nine year and very close now to wrapping itself up. The movie was called, “Mother Ghost”. And while cinematically it was fair at best- its message was redemptive. It was about a man whose life was beginning to come apart at the seams. His business- was fine but stagnant, his marriage- ailing- his other familial relationships… distant and ambiguous at best.

Why?

Because he had lost his mother the year prior and had not learned how to grieve properly. A phenomenon I whole heartedly understand. In fact, though I literally grieved from generations not my own when my mother passed, it was when my father passed that I truly began to understand just how lost I had been within the wake of her death. He took little note, I am certain as the last years of his life where spent in absolute limbo. My father existed only because his great faith told him he could do little else until my mother would come to call. And so he did… exist and she did eventually come to call. Though none of us were ready for it when it happened; my father had been standing on the gang plank with his suitcases stuffed since the minute they rolled her out of the hospital room where she died.

Did I ever tell you that she died before I could get to Birmingham that day? That my siblings lied to me to keep me from making the four hour trip in two? That I tried to accommodate a stupid realtor who was thirty minutes late in showing my farm that day? That the tardiness of a realtor and the well intentioned lie of a sibling who told me she was resting delayed my departure? Did you know that I arrived exactly thirty one minutes late and that for the rest of my life, I will be exactly thirty one minutes late for everything else? Did I tell you that hers was a beautiful ceremony? Did I tell you that it snowed that late day in March as his coffin made the trip to his final resting place? Or that the only thing that made his death palatable was when they removed the cover of the mausoleum to place his casket inside, I saw my mother’s and knew in that instant- that they were both exactly where they wanted to be…together again?

This film… this B-rated film brought all this back and more.

All this to say, that love alters our perception of everything. Death is a very fickle thing – life even more so. We love people when they are near and afar. When they pass, we miss the tangible touch as much as we cherish the memory of that touch. To feel a breeze as it whispers against our cheeks that we are loved. To marvel at the warmth of the sun as she caresses and hugs us close… to know the biting of the winter winds of regret… and to know that all that is gone in the instant we understand they are never really gone and learn to let them go.

True, it is not Thanksgiving Day; it is the day after and so with all the gratitude I can muster in the face of being a 52 year old orphan, I just wanted to say…

Thank you for always being there for me. For taking the best of you both and sharing that with the cosmos. I hope the cosmos appreciates it as much as I do. Oh… and one other thing before you go mom and dad???

I miss you. I miss your laughter and your discipline. I miss your kind eyes, your devilish grin, your support and your direction, but most of all…
I miss your touch. And while R can give me your impressions and your nostalgic memories of me as a child…she cannot give me what I crave the most.

A warm hand in mine…
A kiss on the cheek…
A tap on the forehead and a hug that warms from within…

I love you…mom and dad.
Will you tell them that for me Charley… when you see them?
Thank you.

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