Through the Door: 6 Years Gone…

I know I just recently wrote this (a creative writing challenge) and posted it but…. its the date before THE date….  So much time, so VERY VERY missed – every day.  Especially this year, as his youngest granddaughter starts high school, and his oldest granddaughter gets married. You were here for dinner 6 years ago tonight, and I never saw you again.  I miss you and think of you so much,  Daddy! Today, and every day. …… So here it is again

 

I pull in the driveway just as the shadows are starting to lengthen and the afternoon is at its golden magical moment. Its been a long day and my feet are killing me. As I walk up the deck steps to the back door I don’t hear our two dogs barking – which is strange,  because they usually bark when a leaf blows by the window – never mind when they hear footsteps on the trex decking. But no matter – I’m tired. I open the door and take a step into the dim coolness of my kitchen – shedding my sweater as I walk in.

I’m greeted by Miss Nellie – our old greyhound, who lifts her head off the couch and grins at me, tail thumping. For a millisecond I accept this – then I freeze. Nellie’s been at the Rainbow Bridge for close to two years now.  Then I hear his voice behind me –  “What’s for supper, Donna Jean?”   Dad?  Oh, Daddy…. I spin around and RUN, fast as I can,  hugging him tightly. He’s real, and I’m not hallucinating.   “Take it easy kiddo”, he says, “I’m still recuperating. I just got the OK to drive again today.”  That’s when I know.  It’s June 6, 2007.  Its not the date I woke up to this morning – but when I stepped through my back door this afternoon it’s where I ended up.  And I’ve been given a rare gift.  One more last afternoon with my father.

I frantically try and think of any way to keep him at my house for as long as possible, as we chat about the girls and wait for them and my husband, to get home. Its surreal. My brain is telling me this isn’t possible, but oh, my heart…. my heart.  I don’t know how I manage to keep it together; as this great big lump of emotion in the center of my chest tries to work its way up my throat and explode out of me.  But I do keep it together, barely.  Dad doesn’t seem to notice. There’s so much I want to tell him, but can’t.    The crew gets home just as I think  I can’t stand any more and they prove a distraction.  I’m in for another shock – when I left them this morning they were 20 and 14.  Now, they’re 14 and 8. We decide on pizza for dinner and Grandpa is highly encouraged to stay. As usual, the girls have him wrapped around their fingers,  and so he does.  I content myself watching him with them, remembering how much they mean/t to him and how much he loves/loved being their grandfather.

Time slows, I start to almost feel like this is normal – and then it suddenly accelerates as Dad gets ready to leave – he’s heading for an AA meeting – just like he did before. My heart sinks because I know he’s leaving and this is the last time I’ll see him – again. Don’t go Dad. Stay awhile. But the time arrives. I know it, and I know I can’t stop him.  I tell him unequivocally to take it easy – reminding him (as I follow him out to the car this time) that he has to see the surgeon before he goes back to mowing lawns and landscaping. But I know it won’t make any difference.   There really are no do-overs. What was, was. What is, is. And what will be, will be. The timeline is locked in, and on June 7, 2007 he will have a massive heart attack while unloading his lawn mower at a clients house and he will pass away before I can get to the hospital to say goodbye.   “I know,” he says.  “Love you.  Sayonara, Kemosabe.  Keep the Faith.”  “Bye Dad, I love you too!” And with that, he leaves – just like before.

As I turn and walk back up the driveway the light shifts back to golden for an instant.  I hear the dogs barking inside the house. I go back through the door again, back to my future. I smile through the tears I can now let loose –  because I got my chance to say goodbye, after all.

Through the Door: Weekly Writing Challenge

I pull in the driveway just as the shadows are starting to lengthen and the afternoon is at its golden magical moment. Its been a long day and my feet are killing me. As I walk up the deck steps to the back door I don’t hear our two dogs barking – which is strange,  because they usually bark when a leaf blows by the window – never mind when they hear footsteps on the trex decking. But no matter – I’m tired. I open the door and take a step into the dim coolness of my kitchen – shedding my sweater as I walk in.

I’m greeted by Miss Nellie – our old greyhound, who lifts her head off the couch and grins at me, tail thumping. For a millisecond I accept this – then I freeze. Nellie’s been at the Rainbow Bridge for close to two years now.  Then I hear his voice behind me –  “What’s for supper, Donna Jean?”   Dad?  Oh, Daddy…. I spin around and RUN, fast as I can,  hugging him tightly. He’s real, and I’m not hallucinating.   “Take it easy kiddo”, he says, “I’m still recuperating. I just got the OK to drive again today.”  That’s when I know.  It’s June 6, 2007.  Its not the date I woke up to this morning – but when I stepped through my back door this afternoon it’s where I ended up.  And I’ve been given a rare gift.  One more last afternoon with my father.

I frantically try and think of any way to keep him at my house for as long as possible, as we chat about the girls and wait for them and my husband, to get home. Its surreal. My brain is telling me this isn’t possible, but oh, my heart…. my heart.  I don’t know how I manage to keep it together; as this great big lump of emotion in the center of my chest tries to work its way up my throat and explode out of me.  But I do keep it together, barely.  Dad doesn’t seem to notice. There’s so much I want to tell him, but can’t.    The crew gets home just as I think  I can’t stand any more and they prove a distraction.  I’m in for another shock – when I left them this morning they were 20 and 14.  Now, they’re 14 and 8. We decide on pizza for dinner and Grandpa is highly encouraged to stay. As usual, the girls have him wrapped around their fingers,  and so he does.  I content myself watching him with them, remembering how much they mean/t to him and how much he loves/loved being their grandfather.

Time slows, I start to almost feel like this is normal – and then it suddenly accelerates as Dad gets ready to leave – he’s heading for an AA meeting – just like he did before. My heart sinks because I know he’s leaving and this is the last time I’ll see him – again. Don’t go Dad. Stay awhile. But the time arrives. I know it, and I know I can’t stop him.  I tell him unequivocally to take it easy – reminding him (as I follow him out to the car this time) that he has to see the surgeon before he goes back to mowing lawns and landscaping. But I know it won’t make any difference.   There really are no do-overs. What was, was. What is, is. And what will be, will be. The timeline is locked in, and on June 7, 2007 he will have a massive heart attack while unloading his lawn mower at a clients house and he will pass away before I can get to the hospital to say goodbye.   “I know,” he says.  “Love you.  Sayonara, Kemosabe.  Keep the Faith.”  “Bye Dad, I love you too!” And with that, he leaves – just like before.

As I turn and walk back up the driveway the light shifts back to golden for an instant.  I hear the dogs barking inside the house. I go back through the door again, back to my future. I smile through the tears I can now let loose –  because I got my chance to say goodbye, after all.

Autumn’s Fire, and a Stairway.

“Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.”  William Allingham

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our souls.

There walks a Lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold.

And if you listen very hard.

The tune will come to you at last.

When all are one and one is all….

Led Zeppelin

Deep Peaceful Summer Reflections

 

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.  ~ Mother Teresa

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~  Lao Tzu

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. ~ John Muir

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes . . .   ~ John Denver 

In the viridian depths of the forest we find solace.  In the quiet reflection of  jade-dark, slow-moving streams there is peaceful contentment. The jewel tones of the plants and flowers are mirrored  – jade, beryl, ruby, amethyst, emerald, and pearl – colorful little surprises. There is no sense of past or future – only the Dream Time; only the Now.  The rain patters softly on the surface of the water, or the sun dazzles and dances across it.  Clouds create depth and shadow.  The water and the forest watch.  They are ours to rejoice in.  Tomorrow, all will change.  The beauty will remain for us to see. The serenity inside,  for us to feel.  We take it with us when we go.  ~ Donna Erickson

 

Eleven Questions

Thanks to Peaches for tagging me!!

Let’s get started:

RULES
1.You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag (eleven) people with a link to
your post.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

QUESTIONS FOR ME TO ANSWER:

Least favorite quality in some people?  Dishonesty and Backstabbers

Favorite smell?  The smell of Christmas Dinner cooking, and Balsam

Favorite song that is at least 10 years old?   D’yer Mak’er  Led Zeppelin

What is your biggest niggling anxiety at the moment? (Not fear, just..anxiety)  Finances

Best health tip? Drink lots of Water

Favorite type of book? I have to have a favorite type????   Hmm, mysteries, thrillers, spy novels, sci-fi, high fantasy, romance, supernatural romance, supernatural, biographies, historical fiction, historical non- fiction (particularly the Tudor era) and so on, and so forth, etc etc.  I even like graphic novels and comic books.  Bibliophile Extraordinaire – thats me!

What injustice do you find most infuriating?  That people are still judged based on their appearance and not what’s it their hearts.

What is your favorite environment to be in?  Vacation mode, anywhere. Or home – snuggled up on the couch on a snowy evening with a warm blankie, hot cocoa and the husband.

What makes you feel safe?  See above, Actually, I feel most safe on Saturday afternoons, after chores are done, dinners in the oven, on the grill, or in the slow cooker, the fridge is full of good food, I’m sipping a glass of good white wine, and listening to the neighborhood kids (including mine) laugh and play.

What do you love most about yourself or your life? I’m fortunate to have family and friends that provide unconditional love and support.

What moment in history do you think most affects the present?  Hands down, has to be 9/11 – unfortunately.  

My 11 Questions:

Channelling James Lipton (“Inside the Actors Studio”)  here for the first two questions:

1.  What is your favorite Sound?

2.  When you get to heaven, What’s the first thing God will say to you?

3. Favorite  @%&*U*$%&   word?

4.  Personal Accomplishment that makes you feel the best?

5.  Biggest Regret? (I’ve had a few, but then again – too few to mention)

6.  Favorite Drink?  (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

7. What’s the best vacation you ever took? And why?

8. Whats the best movie adaptation of a book you’ve ever seen, and why?

9.  Describe the person you are closest to in one word.

10.  Do you have a hobby, if so – what is it? (Blogging doesn’t count for these purposes, lol)

11.  What grinds your gears about people?

And as a big bonus:  Name 5 things that make you happy!

Taggees:

Barneysday

Irishsignora

Gina

Eleenie

Kate

Sammyjaybird

Russelray

raymondtowers

Emma

Genie

Marsha

underthewisdomtree

SKEdazzles

Gasp!

Offering my most abject apologies here for the wasteland my blog has become lately.  There is so much going on in my life right now that when I do have a free minute – all I want to do is relax and not think about anything. I’m hoping things will slow down a little soon, because I do feel better when I write and I love hearing from my readers and blogger friends and relatives.  I also desperately need a vacation, I haven’t had any significant time off since the holidays.  So I’m taking this opportunity to write quickly; as I found an opportunity to surface for a quick breath of air  (“Gasp!”)    I’m due to go under again in just a few minutes,  so sending you all love and big hugs!  I’ll try to post snippets and some pictures if I get the chance. Right now, I’m taking care of me and listening to my inner voice- which is telling me to relax and do nothing  whenever I get the chance.  Please know I love you all and really appreciate all the friendship and support you offer me every day.  You lift me up. Hugs again  (One can never get, or give, too many of those!)   Best,  Donna

Emerald Dreams

The Forest speaks to me in Waking Dreams.

Of Verdant, Peaceful Silence.

An Errant Breeze & Sparkling Water enhance the Emerald Calm,

Refreshing my Spirit.

Sanderson Brook gurgles and chuckles, meandering along the rocks gently at its lower levels. Things are slow and sleepy down here. The forest dreams quietly in its lush, green cocoon.

Sounds are muted. Brent and I speak softly so as not to disturb these peaceful moments at stream level. Hikers pass each other, merely nodding and smiling. There is only the sound of wind, water, and birds.

At the upper reaches of the brook just below the falls the water is vibrant, bubbly and very much awake. At this end, it slumbers, sliding along its course in the dappled sunshine.