To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “Mine”.
Memories. All I have is memories. All I have is memories. Memories of you. Now you’re gone. They linger on, these memories. All these precious memories. Memories of you. ~Van Morrison – Memories
The next few “Memories” vary within the realm of happiness and realization. As I have been typing away at these memories, I have realized, my Father was human. I am also finding my Mother, another human, entwined within them.
Making our advent wreath~ Each Christmas my father made our advent wreath. He had a “humongous” circle made of straw. Well, now as an adult the ring isn’t as large as I thought it was then. This particular year, He bundled me up and we went over to our neighbors house. They had a magnificent Arborvitae. A type of pine that has flat leaves. He proceeded to cut branches for the wreath (I’m fairly certain he had permission). Back in our warm house, he began piecing. Branch by branch, I watched as the giant circle became, something beautiful. I was in awe with the way his hands seemed to know exactly the right place for each branch. The scent was amazing. Growing stronger as the branches and leaves warmed in the house. This is the point the memory stops. I have a glimpse of lighting the candles, I got to light the pink one.
The Green Brier flower shop~ Just a flash or two. My mother and I walking into the store. Finding my father in the back room, preparing for a class he was leading. He looked up from what he was doing, and shot my mother a very annoyed look. My mother left. An employee watched me while he led his class. As an adult, I realize that my parents had ups and downs. Just like any other couple. This is the only time I remember him not being ecstatic to see me.
The ring~ My parents bought me a “baby ring”. I also don’t know if it was purchased when I was an infant or when I was older. I imagine this event to have been about age 5, because that is about the size of finger, the ring that now sits in my jewelry box would fit. It isn’t receiving the ring that I remember. But of being allowed to wear it, on no particular evening. It was time to wash up for supper. Daddy “angel-ed” (airplane game) me into the bathroom. Sitting propped on his bent knee, I put my hands under the faucet. Then he gave me soap. He had his hands over mine, rinsing the soap off… and gasp! His hands were frantically trying to catch the ring before it got to the drain. Alas, it did indeed meet the drain, to disappear. His hands moved quickly, turning off the water, in hopes that the tiny ring would not be swept to the sewer. Even in his haste to get to the phone to call a plumber, he knelt down and gently dried my hands with the towel. The plumber was called. Supper was served and eaten. The plumber arrived (a good friend of my Grandfather). I remember Mr. Plumber being very, very tall. With white hair. Mr. Plumber went straight to work on the U bend pipe. Once free from the adjoining parts, Mr. Plumber upended it over a plastic tub that was in place to catch the contents of the pipes. The tiny band ker-plunked into the tub. The rejoicing commenced! The ring was cleaned and put away properly; to hibernate until I was an adult.
I am enjoying my recollections. Even the emotionally “hard” to remember topics. They are working to make my father a multidimensional figure. As opposed to the memory of a man placed on a pedestal, untouchable. Unreachable. He is becoming tangible to me. That may be the priceless gift I am receiving as I share him, My Father, with you.