Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Remember






I remember turning onto Elliott Avenue
and Grandpa's car pulling up beside me.
"Get in," he said, and I got in,
beside my mother and little sister.
From the front seat, my Grandma
turned and told me
"Your father has died."

"Dad's dead?" I asked, my voice rising.
"Think of your mother! Think of your mother!"
she admonished, and I fell silent.

Just that quickly
had life 
completely 
changed.

I remember Grandma 
having a dizzy spell
that afternoon, from stress,
and my mom worrying
she was going to lose
her mother, too.

I remember that night,
at the supper table,
my mom looking at 
her two young daughters,
beginning, helplessly, to cry,
and having to leave the table.

She went back home, alone,
that night. Later, she told me,
she felt Dad's presence there,
took his old, battered hat,
held it to her chest,
and walked up and 
down the creek, crying,
all the evening.

He had been her love
since she was just sixteen.
To the end of her life
she repeated, like a mantra,
"He was the only man I ever loved."

I remember, after the funeral,
standing beside her
in the church doorway,
at the top of the stairs,
looking out at a normal, sunny 
summer afternoon,
and her looking at me and saying,
"We have a long row to hoe, now."
And we did.

At Poets United's Verse First today, Kim set us the prompt: I Remember. We were to start writing and put down whatever came and then revise it. Mine came exactly as it happened, and I couldn't think of any way to revise it.........I love Kim's prompts.

22 comments:

  1. Beautifully and gently told. a daughter caring for her mother, impressionism at its finest. Thank you.

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  2. Yes, a long road to hoe (together), but I like the touch of hope in that last stanza.

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  3. We never forget moments like these, the moments that change our lives forever, and can't be revised.
    K

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  4. Very well written and it captures the loss of your heart. Takes me back to my loss and feelings. Well done.

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  5. you write with such grace and dignity ~ something that is so sad, big hugs to the daughter who fell silent xx

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  6. Powerful remembering, Sherry. A loss of a parent always leaves a hole...that is never filled again in the same way. Very moving post.

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  7. Oh Sherry. You have no clue what this made me feel. We all face such circumstances. I am searching for words but cant find it. Your father will be damn proud of you and your mom.

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  8. Yes you did and life goes on, moves on in memories that shape our courage. Your mother was very brave

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  9. Your Mother must have been a wonderful, strong role model as you grew up.

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  10. wow
    Im so sorry for the pain that unexpected event caused
    what a family / strong and loving

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  11. This is so heart wrenching, Sherry. I know the feeling, when I went to visit my very sick dad at the hospital, they told me he had passed and I felt like the world had just stopped. You beautifully express this kind of grief.

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  12. Lush and absolutely gorgeous - in language and emotion - Bravo:)

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  13. We all remember out sad and hard feelings.... Wish we could somehow remember our Lovely pleasant feeling...... I couldnt..... Whn asked
    I remember I could only remember my lost love.... Ur poem Made me cry..... As i know the pain of lossing at a very young age is so hard.........

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  14. These memories serve us well when kept in taat 'hope' chest.

    Lovely!

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  15. This is beautifully written Sherry. How sad that must have been.

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  16. Beautifully weaved story, Sherry. You've been your Mom's strength...kudos.Such support and compassion change life of elderly drastically...
    The concluding part is so so beautiful...

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  17. You never forget events like that. Thank goodness your family survived it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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  18. A sad memory but beautifully portrayed. I felt the sadness.

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  19. Sherry, you took a terribly sad moment from your life and laid it out like a quilt... so touching. The little things, like her comments, the way your grandma responded to you... these are things that shape a person's life. You came through it all well, I must say, for all that hardship. The final lines say it all... Amy

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  20. Beautifully and gently written. Such sadness but a great deal of dignity.

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!