Wednesday, October 15, 2008

atop my tv

I used to have this big cursive, button embellished "M" on my TV, right below that clock. It had to find a new home when I got this fun vinyl phrase from Brenda over at Eye Candy. I don't think she has a site, contact Lisa for her phone number. anyway, I love it. Thanks Brenda! It's added a cool touch to my family room.

Since I put that up I've spent some time just looking at the collection of things that have found their home on my TV. I found myself surprised that's it's mostly stuff from my dad. The huge candlesticks were a Christmas present/housewarming gift from him years ago. I remember it was a combined gift because they were rather expensive and we've had a spending limit for adult gifts for years, and this far exceeded that limit. they mean a lot to me for some reason, although I've never really been able to vocalize why. It was such an indulgent purchase for our family. I mean they were a lot. I think Dad knew that I fell completely in love with them and that they would always have a honored place in our home. And they do. I still love them as much as that very first day.

Then there's the round slice of rock, bottom left of photo. I didn't fully know it at the time, but this would be the last thing he ever bought me. I'm fairly certain he knew it would be his last gift. Which makes it all the more important. We were strolling around downtown Auburn California at the local antique shops and locally owned boutiques during my super fast visit before my 20th high school reunion.

Our first stop was this rock store, common in northern cali, with all it's gold and other natural goodness. I'm not the type who buys these types of things. No real reason. I love to look at them but having rocks in my house, even as pretty as they can be, usually doesn't interest me. But this one caught my eye, and Dad noticed. We went back and forth about this silly rock, talking about what we 'saw' in it, toying with buying it, but where would it live, how it survive the trip home, much less the kids, when finally he just bought it for me. So him.

In it I saw a lake, a huge lake with almost no end. A lake that went past the out cluster of shore which separated the part you might swim in from the part that one might speed boat in - although this wasn't a boating type a lake, but still a fun lake, with no end.

He saw the ocean with its vast horizon line that, also, had no end.

He bought that rock for me in August, 2007, and died 5 months later. I've posted this poem before, but will again. It gave me so much conform those hard days of waiting at Hospice. Read it with the thought of this rock and tell me he didn't know something beyond the fact that he had cancer...

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side
spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty
and strength. I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where
the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in
mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and
she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her
destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the
moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is dying.

I don't mean to be a big bummer. We all deal with dying in our own way, and today mine is to talk about this. I think that's why I'm so touched by Kimberly's loss. My dad had been diagnosed with cancer and knew his time was short. He was able to, knowingly or not, leave something significant for me. Something I could always know we, at some level, had the same thoughts about. I hope she finds that one thing he husband was able to leave for her and that maybe it's something that lives on her TV. Something to remind her that this is not the end. Something she can look at, and smile.


Kerry said...

Damn. That rock story made me cry.
I was teary at the candlesticks, but the rock sent me right over the edge.

From the few times I talked to your dad, I liked him an awful lot. I'm glad you told the story about the stuff on your TV. I never would have known the stories behind it, and now it makes for such a cool display rather than just random... you know?

Tammy said...

Beautiful heart is heavy for both your loss and Kimberly's.

Lisa said...

that's beautiful michelle. and a lovely poem. i'm so glad you have things that remind you of your dad. i love your new vinyl up there--it looks lovely!!

Dust and Maddy said...

Looks perfect there

And I've always loved that quote.

scrapmom4 said...

Great stories. And if they aren't scrapbooked already, now they're recorded. Gotta love blogging.
Love ya,