Happy Birthday to my DAD
Yesterday you would of been 86.
I visited your grave yesterday.
Just to kiss the top of the headstone imagining it was the top of your head.
It was a typical WINDY March day and the leaves were whipping around in a happy dance.
The winter spring squalls were jumping around the valley. Your backyard view
of the Umcompahgre was clear and I stood with you and watched the storm clouds
move across the mountains. You so loved your mountains as I do.
Grand Mesa was covered in a big snow storm when I drove into the Grand Valley
but on the way out it was clear and you could see the fresh snow tinting the dark areas.
I spotted the snow bear and winked at him.
I remember so much of my childhood spending time with you discovering new and wonderous things.
We would sit for hours looking through my favorite big Life Magazine that had dinosaurs arranged in their chronological order. You never got tired of explaining my endless questions. When the big thunder storms would come through we would sit in our lawn chairs with the garage door wide open and watch the lightening. You took the time to show me so many things in nature and the world. I have always believed that because of your wonder at life and it's amazing abundance, you inspired me to be an artist. To create wonder and joy in my small way. I so wish you could be here to spend time with Emalie. You would of adored her. She loves wild animals and nature and for a 7 year old, she is really smart about these subjects. She is a wiz in math. You would of loved watching nature shows with her. If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she says a veterinarian. I imagine her in Africa someday working on a game reserve, or some exotic place doing what she loves. You two would of been the best buds.
So many things have changed since you have been gone... some things wonderful, others incredibly sad.
I am grateful for my memories and the dear times we had as a family. After I left the cemetary, I headed down Unaweep on my way out town. I turned off onto Cedar Street to drive by Grandad's and Bubba's house.. one of those incredibly sad things that was changed. But despite the sad appearance of the house and yard, I still could feel the good times and the sweet memories of the place. How we would sit in the backyard and pit cherries or eat watermelon. The gardens in the backyard that were riotous in summer....the firepit where Grandad would burn rubbish.... The house is still painted cream but now with a spring green trim. I am glad the red is gone because that was Grandad's color. The gardens are long gone now but those peach and green fiberglass panels are still up on the side by the carport. Mrs Trinklien's house looks like a shanty now.. the whole neighborhood is a sad run down place. It's heart wrenching. I didn't drive by our old house yesterday.. enough sadness for one day.
On the way out of town, I drove through DeBeque Canyon and spotted the huge rock formation that looks like a chipmunk climbing up the rock wall. I passed the big hump in the highway where there was a big rock slide years ago that took out the electrical lines and kept you and your crew working up there for days. These are the things I hold in my heart, that will never change, thankfully. Wonderful reminders that will always be there to touch my heart and make me think of you Dad. I never can look at these mountains without thinking of you and wishing you were still here. I guess in a lot of ways, you still are.
Mom is doing good. She is so happy in her new apartment and life is peaceful for her. She feels safe and
has many friends. I am so happy for her. I know you are looking out for her as well. I wish I lived closer so I could be more helpful to her. She said she lit a candle for you yesterday. She misses you as much as is humanly possible. There will be a great reunion for you both someday. It will give me great joy to know you two will be reunited when the time comes.
So Dad I hope you are enjoying paradise and your eternal rest. I can imagine you exploring the universe between your naps. Perhaps Dumas and Sadie are with you, napping and trekking along. Maybe Grandad joins you on your adventures. And someday, Mom too.
Love you Dad. Miss you.
hugs and kisses