My dad passed nearly five months ago. He was an artist and was constantly giving his artwork to those around him. I’ve written some blogs about him (A Bowl of Soup for Dad and Carry The Torch), and began blogging because he inspired me to “put my writing out there.” I wrote this poem four weeks before his death. He had been falling almost daily, and his memory was fading. This is how I felt:
Slipping, he’s slipping Beneath life, Flirting with death more than life. Life cannot be captured in a jar, Sealed and stored. It slips away day by day, Dimly noticed. Looking back, I see the past, A man of strength, hands of steel. Stolen, he’s being stolen Away from who he was. Now mindless wanderings, Pausing and ponderings for words That run away. He’s slipping, Slipping through my hands, I cannot preserve the man I know him to be. I cannot alter time, Or contain him in a jar To forever taste sweet memories Of the man I know him to be. Violently - life gives way to death. Death encroaching – Push it back! Seal him in a jar! Memories fading, Dementia shading Everything to grays. Leaving, he’s leaving His physical life on earth. Oh, his suffering I wish to relieve. He knows he’s leaving; Knows he’s losing his mind. I assure him of my love, And of heaven above. Keep holding on Dad – Not to life – but to faith. Let go of this life Anytime you feel is right. Bruises, scars, Fractures, and plight; Markings of your victorious fight In the battle of this physical life. Over, it’s almost over - Caught between life and death. I too am bruised, Scarred, and broken; I too am losing my mind. I can’t imagine life without you. I search for words, But they run away too, Hiding behind plaques and tangles. Victory, upon victory, Life lived for Jesus is never a loss, You raised us to know The Christ of the cross! Your love for Him is evident In everything you do, Find satisfaction in your kids Who know him too. We have hope upon hope Of seeing you unbroken And restored. Until then, sweet dad, I’m here with you - Buttoning your shirt, Combing your hair, Kissing your face. I love you For who you are now Just as much as I love you For who you were. You will always be my dad, and I will always be your “Red”.