Wednesday, August 26, 2015
I often find myself missing my Dad so very much. The sadness still comes along once in awhile, but the joy in the memories is so dear that it gently pushes aside the sadness. With me always are the wonderful memories and the way he helped to shape my character and morals.
On the days when I am really missing him, I find that it helps me a lot to write down my thoughts and feelings. In the old days, when folks only had paper and pencil to express their feelings, they kept journals and diaries and wrote letters to each other. It is still a good thing to do, to write down your messages to others.
You are my hero, my protector, my teacher. You are my father and I love you dearly. I miss you here on Earth, but, I know that one day we will be together again on a new journey. You helped me through this life, from the time I was born till the day you left and died to this world. This is a message from me to you, Father.
So many years ago you left us, Dad. That was a sad day for me and my siblings. Years, yet it seems like just a short while ago I sat with you and we talked of our joys in life. I told you how my children were growing and becoming young adults and how very proud I was of them.
You loved looking at their pictures and reminiscing with me on when they were just little babes, then taking their first steps, and learning to talk. It reminded you of when I took my first steps and uttered my first words. Then you would talk about each of your children and how we grew and the funny stories you had of each one of us. You would shake your head and wonder where the years had gone.
Since you left us, Dad, a fourth generation of yours is beginning life and growing fast. You knew all your grandchildren and some great grandchildren. Some of the third and all of the fourth generation you have not seen in this world, but, I know that your spirit knows them.
They are fine people and would make you proud. Even though you have not physically seen them and hugged them, you have left them a legacy and stories to pass on.
With your folk art, your pictures that we treasure, memories of you, folk songs you sang to us, the wonderful toys and little furniture you made for us, how you made Christmas and the holidays so special, all your wonderful gardens with our own vegetables, all these memories are passed down to the little ones. This legacy continues on with each new generation. We have your folk art displayed where all can see and the stories that go along with these carvings are just as much a treasure as the art is.
My children remember when they were little and the stories you told them and how they laughed so hard at your tale of the woman in the mountains who threatened to "pickle you" if you did not marry her. They remember listening with held breath and huge eyes when you told of the mountain lion who was stalking you, of the wolves fighting just over the hill from you, and the bears you tracked.
My granddaughter is beautiful and knows you through my son's memories. My grandson is a good boy and knows you through my daughter's memories of you. You would be so proud, of all your descendants.
The older I get, Dad, the more I realize just how much you gave me. You gave me the realization that my spiritual growth is of the utmost importance. You taught me that to grow spiritually I must listen to the voice of my soul -- to sometimes enter into the silence to do so.
You taught me to respect Nature and Mother Earth. You taught me to know when storms are approaching, what kind of winter we will have, what our springs and other seasons will be like, by watching Nature and the animals, the sun and the moon. You taught me how to read the stars and how to watch for signs in the skies and in Nature.
I remember when I was about eight, standing outside with you and my siblings after dark. I was afraid of the dark, but felt safe knowing you were near. I can still see, when I stand outside in the dark, that night you pointed up to the heavens to show us the star that was near the full moon and told us all about it. You made us appreciate such beauty like that.
You taught me how to be proud of myself, but, also how to be humble. You taught me to reach out to others when they are in need and to offer my hand in support.You imparted in me the importance of giving without expectations.
I learned from you how to pay attention to my creative side as well as my logic. I learned to play the guitar, banjo and autoharp because of you, and how to appreciate music and how important writing is to express my feelings, goals and joys. You showed me how to plan gardens and grow vegetables and how to harvest them.
From you I learned that all people are the same in God's eyes and that love is the greatest of all things.
You taught me how to pray and call upon the spirits that guide and protect me. You gave me courage to try new things. You gave me the knowledge that to fail only means another door to a better opportunity has opened.
I am much older now and it has been so long since you left us -- yet you are still teaching me in ways that come through memories and sometimes dreams.
Every Christmas, I put three of those little butter cookies, "star cookies" you called them because of their shape, in a little red basket and hang it on the tree for you. I know you loved those. I still bake them every Christmas season with you on my mind.
Every Father's Day, no matter how busy the day is with our huge family, I always find the time and the place to be alone with you in spirit, to say a prayer for you and to thank you for all you have given me, my children, my grandchildren and all the generations to come.
Thank you, Dad, for being the loving father and grandfather you were, for all you have given me, for being there for me -- I love you with all my heart and soul.
~ ~ ~ ~
Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier
© Copyright Phyllis Doyle Burns 2015
~ ~ ~ ~