Loneliness overcame her
like a feather pillow
She remembered going to Uncle Cy’s house
to play with her cousins (what were their names?)
and having her teeth set on edge
by Aunt Cora’s rhubarb pie.
She was troubled her daddy never came to visit.
She couldn’t even tell him where to find her.
And where was her husband? She hadn’t felt
his embrace in what seemed like forever.
She basked in a memory of hanging clothes on the line
one summer day wearing a halter top and shorts
while her boys wrestled
in the cool grass at her feet.
A UTI brought back the fog.
Thoughts became like sparks
that flared and then flickered out in the fuddle
before she could finish a sentence.
She remembered…. She tried to remember….
She couldn’t remember.
Those lovely retreats that were her hope
were gone — at least for now.
She asked her son,
“Why hasn’t daddy come?”
She was stricken when he gently whispered,
“Mom, grandpa passed a long time ago.”
There was something she desperately
wanted to remember but couldn’t.
It called to her from the porous edge of
her consciousness promising to buoy and buttress.
At her son’s next visit, he said,
“Never forget how much God loves you.
He never forgets you.
He’s here even when I can’t be.”
Something warm like the embrace of her husband,
and comforting like the sound of her father’s voice,
was kindled by her son’s words.
But how long would she remember?
Don has spent the majority of his career in education teaching from academy to post graduate. For the past 18 years he has been in academic administration first as Chief Academic Officer and then as Assistant to the President for Mission at AdventHealth University. Don has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling from Purdue University. Last fall he and his wife Merrie Lyn retired to Kettering, Ohio to be near family.
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