Slice of Life Tuesday

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Slice of Life Tuesday is a weekly writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers” that encourages us to take a look at a small part of what is happening in our lives and share it.

This past week was a difficult one. We had known my husband’s dad wasn’t well for awhile. We had gone to Montreal at Easter and visited with him. But last Monday we got news that Dad had slipped away peacefully, just a month short of his 88th birthday. Although we were expecting it, it was much sooner than we thought it would be, and was a shock.

Wednesday we left once again for Montreal, an eight drive. This time we were accompanied by Bill’s daughter and her son, so we were sandwiched in the car. Even though we usually travel alone, it was comforting to have someone else with us this time.

The next few days were filled with visiting, stories, tears, the visitations on Thursday and then the funeral on Friday. Bill has a large family and most made the trip.His father was one of 8 children and each sibling had 5 or more children. It seems that lately it has been funerals where we get to see each other. So good to connect with family, but a sad time to do it. 

 I experienced so many emotions and thoughts this time. I had known Dad for almost 14 years and I found him a charming, funny but difficult man at times. He was always kind to me, but Bill had a different, harder relationship as the oldest son.We already miss those weekly calls where we discussed horses and racing. We will miss the yearly visits with him to Saratoga as well. Bill’s siblings are already planning that trip already – as a homage to their Dad.

As we helped Bill’s sister clear out Dad’s things from his apartment on Saturday, i was struck again with how survivors view those worldly goods of their loved ones. We question why they were special. I can only imagine how my children will view my special things after I am gone. They already think I have too much stuff!  I’ve decided to start a catalogue of things I want them to know the history of and why they were important to me. It won’t guarantee they will be kept, but at least they will know what their meaning was.

Death causes us to take stock, to reflect, to pause and honour our loved one, to see our place in the grand scheme of things. I’m still reflecting since we came home Sunday. 

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14 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday

  1. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Beverley. It’s never an easy time, nor the ‘right’ time, is it? I know what you mean when you say the family only gets together for funerals lately. A cousin had a reunion a few years ago just for that reason, just to re-unite, not to say goodbye to still another family member. I understand about the ‘special’ things, too. Luckily when I cleaned out a lot last year, my children took quite a few things, and I was glad. There are still other things that please me, and perhaps I’ll write a few notes too. Hugs to you and your husband!

  2. So sorry for your loss Beverly. It is true that as we get older the only reason the family gathers is for a funeral. You are wise to begin to record the history of your belongings that have meaning for you. It will be something your children will treasure.

  3. Sorry for the loss in your family.

    I like the idea of writing down why different belongings are special to you. Some would be a mystery without that, but maybe they will become treasures with it.

  4. So sorry for the loss of Bill’s dad…and yes, it often seems to come more quickly than expected. I like the idea of writing down the history of things for your children. It will mean a lot to them. I am trying to write family stories so that they are not lost over the years. And yes, I have looked at all of my ‘stuff’ and think I might need to start weeding through it. http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  5. What a wonderful idea of keeping a list of those special things. When my mother-in-law passed I received a prayer card and didn’t know the story until I asked my sister-in-law. She had four girls and desperately wanted a boy, so she prayed to Saint Anne for a boy which happens to be my husband. Your family needs to know those stories! I know I am glad I did.

  6. Beverly, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father-in-law. The stuff we have around us can hold the stories and clues of our life. Thinking of you as you transition through.

  7. I grieve with you. And I understand about those difficult relationships, and large families.My father is one of six, none had fewer than four children, so I had 32 first cousins on that side, growing up. My father was the second youngest, so I played with a good many second cousins only a little younger than me.

    When I read that you visited Saratoga each year, I smiled. I live in Saratoga County. Used to live on Caroline Street, a block down from the track, and I would time my drive for work so that I had to stop and wait for the horses crossing over to the Oklahoma Training Track for morning workouts.

    Such a beautiful place; I’m sure you made wonderful memories, sharing that with him.

    May you and your husband find peace in this season of loss.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely, kind words. I am slowly getting back to a routine. I need that though. We are already planning a return family trip to Saratoga in August. Love it there.

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