I have tried to write all of my life, school, my own entertainment, helping young students with essays, and piles of notebooks of stories that my Dad read every one of, from back to front. ( takes deep breath ) Hopefully, I can post this all at once.
When my dad became ill for the last time right before Christmas in 1997, my family postponed the trip we normally made at Christmas to see my Dad through his surgery (amputation of a foot because of diabetes), and help my stepmom. I am not going to post the details of the surgery, etc. He lived only three days after the surgery.
Two days post surgery dad and I were just sitting in his room visiting and talking about my siblings, past Christmas's , of course my mom( who had passed ten years prior). Out of nowhere he asked me, " Doodle ( his nickname for me), do you still write like you used to?"
I told him that I wrote when I had time, or when something came to mind that I wanted to jot down.
Well, he gave me this in our conversation, and when he finished, he told me to write it. I have never really had a place to share it until now.
So, here it is.......
Spring is the season of your youth. Everyday is a bright light beckoning you outdoors to greet the world around you. Your friends start to mold themselves into your life, your first pets become a friend, and you look to your parents for guidance and discipline. That part of your life ends in your latter teen years.
Your friends weed themselves out one at a time. Some choose different paths of life, some change completely and are no longer a friend, some are lifelong, and some unfortunately die before their time.
Summer, good old hot unbearable summer. You are in your twenties and thirties, realising you don't have to like anyone you don't want to, even your family. Although you always felt your parents were clueless you realise now they are pretty smart when all is said and done.
By now you have found someone you want to spend your life with facing all of the challenges that are thrown at you. A child comes along and becomes the reason you exist, work, breath, or just plain get up for in the morning. You laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry, and help them form a bond with your parents, who make them their world now instead of you.
Fall has arrived. Most likely one of your parents have died, your children are getting ready to leave or have already left home and you are beginning to feel useless other than getting up to go to work every morning, go about your doings at home, and getting a call from you children once a week if you are lucky.
Finally you know that this is when you try to make your own life. Then you have a grandchild and joy has reared it head. Life is meaningful again for you, babysitting, buying for them and giving them love that you had let settle in your soul waiting for a home. You don't even think about getting older, just the addition of someone else to love and lavish your attention on.
Yep, winter always has to come whether you love it, hate it, or just tolerate it. It is the time of aching joints, less energy, and deterioration of your good health. Everytime you go for a check-up there is another little kink in your armor. You can either lay down and wait for death or you can fight it daily, wanting to spend another day, another month, or even another year with your partner, your children, your grandchildren, or your little house dog that has become your best friend. He sleeps beside your every night relishing in any attention you have for him when he wakes from his sweet sleep.
My Dad's actual words: " Doodle, don't dwell on the winter of life when you know that death is close, waiting for your soul to leave. Think of the beauty of winter like untouched blankets of snow that we would wake up to in the south so seldomly and thought were so beautiful. Remember the beautiful robins in the back yard in the snow that you and your brothers and sisters would throw bread crumbs to so they would have food. Don't forget how special a snow is in the south. It leaves us with many beautiful memories. Winter is not an end of life, but the beauty of life, sending us back to the memories of our childhood for our happiness."
" Dusk is my season now. It is neither dark or light. I am in a place where I know I am tired and need to sleep but I keep fighting it waiting on one more thing to happen, like one of your brothers or sisters to get here, or maybe here your mom speak to me one more time." ( Again, mom had been dead ten years.)
It was after three in the morning now as my dad spoke. With tired eyes he looked at me and said, " Go home. I love you and if I don't see you tomorrow, remember this as a beautiful winter."
Those were the last words my father ever spoke to me. That is why I love winter and strive to make it a happy season. It is not just holidays, but in life it is the end of a journey.