Thinking of Dad

Charlie, c. 1957

I am thinking of you today, Dad,
On this day when you crossed through the thin space
To join the saints who had preceded you:
Mom, Holt, Ida Mae, Bill …

You had been leaving us for a long time
As bits and pieces of your memory slowly slipped away.
“A blessing, really,” is what we all said of your passing.
But that did not take away the grief that we felt.

I remember the first time you did not remember who I was.
We were having dinner at the kitchen table.
You had been looking at me, and then
You finally asked me who I was.
I said, “I’m your daughter.”
You turned to Anna to see if it was true.
She said, “Yes. That’s your daughter.”
“I have a daughter?” you said in surprise.
But you took it all in as I told you who was:

Beth, your daughter.
Writer of books and liturgy.
Singer of songs.
Clergy in The United Methodist Church.
Worker at The Upper Room.
(You remembered The Upper Room.)

You were so happy
That you had a daughter.
So proud of who I had become.
And I was so happy
At your delight.

And so, we started our new ritual
Carried out in person, on the phone,
In which I would introduce myself to you
And you would be surprised … delighted!

And I was blessed with your love, your happiness,
And your affirmation
Over and over and over again.

9 thoughts on “Thinking of Dad”

  1. In spite of the saddness we know in being a stranger to our loved ones, there is a sweetness about this a bit of love that triumphs over it all. blessings!

  2. Oh, my, Beth. Thank you for sharing through your God-given gift with words. The way you bring ordinary words together with your gift of writing reminds me of how musical notes brought together form a story through music. I am moved, not only by your writing, but also the fact that you turned what so many would see as frustration, and/or hurt that their dad didn’t recognize them into a “joy to be reintroduced and known again and again as DAUGHTER.” There is nothing like that first time when dads are so proud to be introduced to their daughters.
    Prayers for grieving and celebrating your dad!!!!!

    1. Louise, Thank you so much for your words. It is a healing thing to be able to write, to share, to celebrate the life of this man who was my preacher all my life. Many blessings to you in this season of darkness and light. – Beth

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