11.26.2008

"Memories of a Lifetime"

today is the fifteen year anniversary of my dad's death. it was the day after thanksgiving, in 1993, that he died of a sudden massive heart attack. i could go on and on and share my memories of him, what a great dad he was, and how his death has shaped my life and who i am...but today i prefer to keep the memories silent and within, reminiscing quietly to myself. i think this picture was taken the year before i was born (in minnesota) and i will say that i wonder what he thought of that bike laying in the front yard as he came home from work. we always left our things out in the front yard and i can hear him saying in his australian accent, "we are not savages, you know!".

my dad grew up in australia and set sail for canada in his early 20's. he and my mom met on a ship that was headed off to europe, fell in love, and married. after a few years of living in canada, wisconson, and minnesota (my mom's home town) , my parents relocated to australia. over a span of 15 years in australia, they managed to adopt 4 children, have 2 more, and then decided to move back to the states. that is when i was born and then my sister, clare.

i never met my australian grandmother. i remember talking to her on the phone and not understanding what she was saying with her accent so strong. she lived into her 90's and was encouraged by my dad to write an autobiography. she titled it, "memories of a lifetime". as a tribute to my dad's death, i wanted to share a poem that she wrote to him, i am assuming after one of his visits back to australia. until i reread it last night, i never realized the loss that she had in her heart all of the years that he was away living in america. this is something that i share with her in spirit now.

To David - November, 1986

By Doris Christian

So now you have been and gone,
My dear beloved eldest son.
You brought us joy and laughter,
That we will remember ever after.
We shared again the stories told,
Of boyhood pranks you did unfold.
It seemed you had never been away,
As we all thought of yesterday.

Sometimes I think it cannot be,
That you are far across the sea.
For I see your face, and hear your voice,
Which always makes my heart rejoice.

I do thank God for all the joys
You brought to me as little boys.
For all your youthful, happy days,
Before you went your separate ways.
Though now you live lives of your own,
We will always remember joys we have known.
Memories will always be
A source of joy and pleasure to me.

2 comments:

  1. Thinking of you today. A beautifully-written tribute.

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  2. i'm also thinking of you. thank you for sharing such a powerful and intimate part of yourself. xo.

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