Friday, October 9, 2009

For Him


Funny how we make plans for life and hope, only to be reminded of how finite our lives and hopes are anyway.

I stare at my Popo's numerous tattoos, now lost in the folds of his sallow skin, but they give nothing away. Tonight, the doctors say it could be tonight. I huddle his shrunken hands in mine and try to marry these images with the ox of a man I once knew. A truck driver and ex-British, ex-Australian solider.

But so much more.

A man with a humble family history in England and merge beginnings in Australia that are my rights to pride and a sense of value and belonging. A man who showed me how the imperfect love between him and my grandmother was perfect enough to last almost 50 years. That his daughter, my mother, Skinny Ninny as he called her, was a diamond in his twilight, as precious to him as the daughters she birthed.

Leaning close to the wispy hair coming out of my Popo's ear I whisper, "You were the first man to tell me I was beautiful." I seems important to say. In the absence of my father's adoration my grandparents have always held me in their palm like the petals of a rose. Visiting their house was like coming home to logs fires and hot chocolate. How do you say thank you for refuge from the howling winds of your childhood?

I watch my uncle stroke his skinny scalp.
"It's time Dad, it's okay to let go."

Somewhere in the quite of that moment a little girl within me came and sat at my feet. She was shaking with a longing for the Dad she never had, even if it meant she would one day loose him. She doesn't know why she's crying of course. She is just a little girl. But I know. I see her.

Remembrance Day.
Australia.
November 2008.
1: 08am

He slipped up to heaven on the patient wings of a waiting angel.
The truck lights shining on the distant hill.

You would be proud of your son. He held you hand to the end.
You would be proud of your wife. She loves you still.

This weekend we will honor the memories you left us with.
Lights on the Hill Memorial.
For truck drivers.

For you.
My fallen hero.
A man who knew what is was to love.

I will forever be grateful.

Rest in peace.
Peace in your rest.
Until we hold you again.

45 comments:

  1. Tabitha, that was so beautiful. My heart feels pricked by this intense picture. You are blessed to have had so many loving memories of your grandparents.

    Thanks for sharing this. Truly a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Tamika :)
    Yes, my grandparents were part of my saving grace :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You found the words to express your feelings. Reading this, I can't find the words to express mine...other than wrenching and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm crying a bit hard to see what I'm typing right now. That was pitch perfectly beautiful Tab. No wonder he loved you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, Tab. That was stunning. Grandparents can be so amazing. My grandmother was more like my mother and I lost her as well. This really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    ~Tara

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful tribute to your love one! Thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Jody :)

    Tara, yeah my grandparents were amazing. My Nannie still is :)

    Wendy, oh you big ole sweetie :) Thank you.

    Liza thank you for your own beautiful words.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This made me choke up. Just beautiful!! Now I just want to run and hug all my loved ones. Hold them close, and serve us all a nice warm hot chocolate!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am crying. That was truly beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a wonderful tribute. Very moving.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

    ReplyDelete
  11. That was lovely Tabitha. Amazing how God gave you someone to show you love in the midst of a sad childhood. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful memory. Thank you for sharing. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Weeping. I am weeping. Nice. thanks.

    Beautiful. Memoir excerpt? Should be.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That was beautiful, Tabitha. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ohhhh mee,, that was, welll ohh me..

    ReplyDelete
  16. No fair. You aren't supposed to make me cry on a Friday. But I'm glad you did. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely, Tabitha. I remember feeling the same way when my Grandmother died. This was a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Tabitha,this is a beautiful post from the core of your heart.
    I didn't have much of a relationship with my grandparents, so this has given me a lovely insight into how it can be.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Forgot to say (I always click too quickly on the "post" button) I've come via Suzanne's WW. Congrats on that!

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a beautiful post! SO heavenly in every way. I feel like it goes without saying but your gift is so special. I'm sure you Popo's proud.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely beautiful. You deserve that WW.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a special and beautiful post. I don't know what it is with grandfathers but they are unique and it's so wonderful when you have/had a loving one.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lovely post and very nice writing :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. that is beautiful Tab, I'm sure your grandfather would have loved to read it. xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you shelley. I hope so.

    Margo, welcome to the world of my words. Thank you for the visit :)

    DDG- thank you, yes he was a special one.

    Sarah- thank you.

    T.anne, you make me misty. A gift? than you...

    Mimi, thank you for the visit. Thank you for the congrats :) I am stoked. Suzanne is a goddess of the blogging world and I am thrilled to win that award.

    Susan, I hope it brought back good memories.

    Jill, sorry:))

    glnroz- :)) And thank you for the visit.

    Cindy, thanks.

    Suzanne, what can I say? thank you for the award. It means a lot coming from a talented writer like yourself. And yes, you guess it. That is a memoir excerpt... a condensed one, but yes that is in my memoir.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dianne, Jess, Natalie, thank you.

    Helen, Eileen and ckhb- you guy... shucks. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  27. Damn this was beautiful. I just love good writing, finding a blog like a gift, fresh air breathed on words and phrasing! I'm so excited and glad you found me, as it led me to you. We are going to be good blogmates, I can tell. Isn't that what goes down in Australia...mates! You are my 50th follower! You deserve a prize, and so do I...seeing as I never thought I would even have one! So I will make my blog a prize to you and yours to me, and call it G-day!

    And really, it was so moving about your Popo, and I get it...how important it was to have someone hold your petals, fragrant and fresh. For what is a petal if no one gives it pause. Sweet Popo and his imperfect love. I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank you Wine and Words. amazing to have you along for the bloggy ride. If anyone is breathing words on pages it is you :)))

    Good blogging mates for sure :)

    Thank you for the following- my 80th- what a great prize:) Glad to push you to the 50th mark.

    And yes, what are petals if no one gives them a pause. My thoughts exactly :) And a pause was all I needed to start that bud opening.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm glad I came across your blog... simply beautiful!A little teary-eyed. crying? Who me? not one bit.
    )..
    -
    )...

    ReplyDelete
  30. That was hauntingly beautiful. You spun a lovely tribute to your grandfather and I am blessed to have read it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Tabitha, I'm glad Katie pointed to you from her blog today. I get this on a very personal level. I also had/have a grandfather who was a hero in many ways. We lost him suddenly and tragically about fifteen years ago. I can't wait to see him again, and introduce him to the great-granddaughter he never got to meet.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My dad died last December. This is how my children felt. You brought a tear to my eye. The loss of him is still so fresh.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Welcome to my blog Ellie, so great to have you along. And thank you for your kind words.

    Sherrinda, thank you. My grandparents were hauntingly beautiful too. My Nannie still is :)

    Rosslyn, sorry to hear of your loss. Grandparents are amazingly powerful people and I am blessed beyond belief by mine. I look forward to seeing my grandfather again too :) thank you for visiting my blog from Katie's. And welcome.

    Elizabeth- Sorry to hear about your dad. This loss I write about is fresh for me too. Blessings to you and your fam :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Really really beautiful writing. So glad you had your grandpa's love. I'm sure he's so very proud of you still.

    ReplyDelete
  35. So touching. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Tabitha, no words can describe how I feel right now. This is a beautiful window you have opened into a private moment of your life. One that you have shared with the world. I was there witnessing through your words.

    "He slipped up to heaven on the patient wings of a waiting angel.
    The truck lights shining on the distant hill."

    Breathtaking.

    Thanks for sharing and joining my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you She Poet. Truly encouraging comment, considering your own words and writing abilities, thank you :)

    Roni- Thank you.

    Deb, I hope so too:)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you Angie, thanks for the visit :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a loving, lovely tribute to your grandfather, Tab. So glad you had your grandparents to comfort and love you. And thanks, too, for continuing to visit my blog while I was in Europe. Home now. Happy to read some more of your amazing memoir.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you Karen. I email it through soon :) Glad to have you back. Missed ya!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oh my gosh, Tabitha! That was an amazingly BEAUTIFUL tribute to your grandparents! I haven't been to your blog in a while and something just told me to pop over today. I'm so glad I did! This was so touching . . . it brings back memories of my great-grandmother who passed away 3 years ago (at the age of 106).

    Wonderful post and . . . you write beautifully, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is the first post I read when I arrived at your blog a mere minute ago and already words like 'Visiting their house was like coming home to logs fires and hot chocolate' have me in tears. Such a beautiful tribute . . . I'm almost lost for words. I didn't have good enough parenting and I didn't know any of my grandparents. My parents bad behaviour put paid to that but I adore reading and sharing in others that have had the good fortune to have had this precious gift. It's only my first read and I will be back to read more but already, I know that I must sign up to follow . . your writing is that good:)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm sorry you lost your Popo, Tabitha. I sat beside my grandma and my mother-in-law in their hospital death beds. I've tried to write about those days, but I get too emotional. You wrote a beautiful passage.

    ReplyDelete