You would have been ninety-eight today. I mark the date as the day awakens—crickets chirping, and birds beginning their morning chorus, a little later now in August than June. I imagine you as you were before you got sick—larger than life, or so it seemed. Until you shrank, encased inside a body that had become frail, and then your life shrank, too. In your last apartment, filled with bric-a-brac (a word that always sounded like a magical game to me), the Chinese vases and statues, the antiques that shared space with other collections–books and papers, drawings and old art projects we had made—later, after you were gone, and the space echoed with silence, we found the old school lunch boxes and report cards in your closet.
Your grandchildren, my daughters, played on your balcony. I remember red geraniums there, but perhaps I’ve added them in my mind, as I’ve added them to my kitchen window box. I think about my daughters playing and singing, wonder if their love of music came from you. I wish you could have seen the women they’ve become. You would be so proud of them. (I hate that you are gone.) I suspect you, and not my mom, bought the Broadway soundtrack recordings that my sister and I listened to so often when we were little, making up plays in our Dallas bedroom. I remember you singing. Did you have a soundtrack running in your head, as I do?
When I was a teen, you drove me crazy singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” over and over again. I hated that song (I hate that you are gone); I’d love to hear you sing it again. With age, I’ve realized the universe is filled with music, though we don’t always hear it. Some songs drift through your brain, others you hear in your heart.
Heart-songs float through time
stars, the proud troubadours, sing,
tones linger like dreams
My dad’s birthday was yesterday, August 9. This Haibun is for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were hate and pride. I had another idea that used the words much more definitively, but this happened instead.
A beautiful tribute, Merril, and another magical weaving. A word tapestry. 🙂
Thank you very much, Robin! 🙂
Your prose has a wonderful lyric quality to it, the result, I wonder, of your poetry seeping out into all you write? Whatever, it’s lovely. Happy Birthday to your dad, too.
Thanks so much, Janet. That’s a lovely thought that my poetry seeps out into everything I write. 🙂
I’m glad the words hate and pride in the prompt appear here as heart and time (or so I think) in your haibun. Lovely remembrance.
Thank you, Marian. I actually did use the words hate and pride. 🙂
My eyes are blind to dark words today – ha!
Merrill, I cried. Pure and simple this is a glorious tribute to growing older, accepting our parents for who they were, and love. Excellent take on the prompt words and your depth of feelings. Pure amazement! ❤
Aww–thank you so much, Colleen! ❤
Fathers that are gone, so hard. This is a wonderful tribute. thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, Cindy.
You made me think of my own father, who would have been 92 last May. These larger than life figures leave long shadows in our lives. (I hate that he is gone, also.)
Thank you so much, Shirley. I’m happy I made you remember your own father.
Your words brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my dad who died in 1999. Hard to believe it’s approaching 20 years.
Thank you very much, Carol. I’m glad my poem touched you. My dad died in 1998. It is hard to believe.
Our dads are written on our hearts forever.
Yes, indeed, Carol.
Sweet words for your handsome, kind hearted dad. The lessons in love he taught you are still present, and they are the ones you’ve passed on to your daughters, as well. He certainly was a treasure. Lovely tribute, Merril.
Awww–thank you so much, Rose.
My dad was not really kind-hearted, and he was very opinionated. He did not treat my mom well, but he did love us–and well, she was there to say goodbye to him at the end.
Just wonderful. It’s those little things that catch in our throat and eyes. (K)
Thank you very much, Kerfe! Yes, I agree.
Beautiful, Merril. Ah, so happy you could capture him in a way that shows how you miss him. My dad ALSO loved the Raindrops song and sang it a lot and I always hated it (just heard it yesterday and thought of this!). My dad also loved Proud Mary (to dance to) and If I Were a Rich Man (to sing), and the only one I liked was Rich Man. xo
Thank you, Luanne! That is so funny about your Dad also loving and you hating “Raindrops.” I don’t know if my Dad knew Proud Mary. A spin instructor likes to play it sometimes in his class, and there’s one woman who hates it. My dad probably liked all the songs from Fiddler. 🙂
Let’s face it: Raindrops is a crummy song. There, I’ve said it. I don’t like crummy songs. The gardener likes Daydream Believer by the Monkees. Another really crummy song. But I even like that “love in my tummy” song. Heh, no accounting for taste ;).
You’re right–apparently some people don’t like musicals! 😉
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Your dad was a smart and handsome man, to judge by the photo. A great remembrance by you, particularly how you miss hearing him sing the song you used to hate hearing him sing. 🙂 That’s what good dads do.
Thank you so much!
I like this photo of my dad, though I don’t remember him looking like that at all. 🙂
Well, he knew it was for posterity. 🙂
Probably–it does look posed! 🙂
You are inspiring me to ‘write’ to my dad. Gone too long. But we talk every day. THANk YOU. xoxo
Oh, thank you, Pam. How wonderful to know I inspired you! ❤
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Awww, yes! I loved this tribute with so much about your father. I wish he had lived a longer life but your memories are diverse and numerous, Merril.
My Dad would have been 85 this year. I miss him every single day. He was a warm and loving man, silly at times, too. I could imagine the songs he sang to my Mom in the kitchen and to me, really would have driven you crazy! We have that thread in common. 🎼 💕
🌟 “Some songs drift through your brain, others you hear in your heart.”
I loved this very much. Thank you!
p.s. (Dad’s to my Mom was the schmaltzy, “If ever I would leave you” early days and later Neil Diamond’s, “Crackling Rosie.” Mom’s name is Rosalie but some special people, including Dad called her Rosie.)
Thank you again, Robin. I’m glad that my words touched your heart.
Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. I think it’s sweet that he chose a song from Camelot. 😉
He was a romantic kind of man. (His birthday was 7/31/32)
It was fun to have his demonstrative personality around. Thank you for sharing about your father, again. 😊