Looking Serious

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s passing. After 13 years the sting has eased a bit. I wasn’t crying and I didn’t seclude myself in a dark room. I did however pause for a moment and reflect. I have often said that I’ve lived a charmed life. My father was strict and had a temper. He was however fair, protective, encouraging, and supportive. He did his best to make sure that his daughters never wanted for food, shelter or clothing. He taught us the value of money and the power of saving. He required truth and honesty. He demanded we go to church and school. He provided music, art, and dance lessons. He was not perfect but he was loving and loved. He taught me to laugh freely. I cannot fault him in any way. So this is my tribute to my father:

Death
Does not end
The soul’s affection
Or sever love’s attachment
Life

Light
Independent of love fails
Leaves no legacy
A dry leaf
Fades

This is an Oddquain and Reverse Oddquain. The oddquain is a unrhymed poem of 5 lines of 17 syllables arranged as 1-3-5-7-1 syllables the reverse is exactly opposite. I’ve stated before that math gives me a twitch. However I enjoy counting. I learned addition playing Blackjack and cribbage with my parents. The story goes that my parents played cribbage on their honeymoon. I was warned not to tell my teachers that I learned to add playing cards as that might have been viewed as a little scandalous!

36 thoughts on “Looking Serious

  1. We had to stash the Old Maid cards when Grandparents came to visit. Along with mom’s pony bottles of beer that were sitting on the basement steps. 🙂

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    1. Hehe! My great grandmother wouldn’t allow playing cards but she had a Rook deck. We’d use that and just take out the 14s and the rooks. I can just imagine the hustle to hide things when they visited!

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    1. I am one of the lucky ones – my parents were not abusive or mean-spirited. They encouraged me and my sisters always. I read so many tales of discord with family and see the brokenness when fathers/mothers abandon or abuse their children. I always knew I was loved.

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    1. I was. He was one of the good ones. My college roommate was a little jealous when I called him “Daddy” because her dad insisted on being called “Father” and he was not very involved except to tell her what she couldn’t do…

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  2. My dad taught me how much wood it takes to keep 4 fireplaces going all winter. Answer? A shit load. He also taught me to use ax. I hated winters. Maybe that is why I live in Florida.

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    1. I just realized that I missed this comment! Your father sounds like that of a former coworker – his dad taught him to drive a tractor at 4 years old and he was driving a truck by the time he was 10 – all so he could work plowing the fields, baling hay and hauling grain. They also grew melons and to this day he looks at them and remembers his dad making him load them for sale at the farmers market and never being able to eat one. He left the farm as soon as he possibly could and never looked back.

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        1. I hear that you can get the logs that burn in different colors for festive occasions… 50 -60 degrees in the winter is like a second summer for us! People would break out the shorts and flip-flops!! That’s why all the visitors at Christmas are coat-less and all the Floridians are acting like it is the coming of the next ice age! hehehe! Of course on campus the kids from the south are in Parkas by Halloween and all those acclimated are wearing skimpy mermaid costumes!

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          1. I have been cold. Way cold, thanks to the Army. I am done with that noise, and make no excuses for my shivering when it is 62 outside. By the way, my closet has -0- coats, -0- sweaters- -0- boots, -0- thermal underwear, and our garage has -0- snow shovels, -0- snow plows, -0- ice scrapers, and -0- snow skis.

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            1. Good for you! A friend’s daughter is moving to Arkansas and was considering selling her snow shovel and winter coat. She decided that is she ever takes a trip back to Michigan she just might need those items… Out of necessity I have those items (minus the skis). Almost bought chains for Sparky’s bicycle but he doesn’t ride in the winter so won’t need them. But in Northern Indiana we have chains for bike tires for riding in the snow!!!

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  3. Lovely tribute to your dad. I’d never heard of an oddquain but now you know I’ll have to try one. Learning math from playing cards, LOL. My grandparents were card players. too. Maybe I was more scandalous than I thought. June 24 was the two-year anniversary of my dad’s passing, which made the poem even more meaningful. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Joan. I’m sorry that you have experienced that loss. It has been a long time but also seems like just yesterday. The whole family played cards (both sides). My dad’s parents played a game called Twosies that was pretty cutthroat. It was kind of like Michigan Rummy and canasta had a child that drank and ran with a bad crowd! Anyway as soon as we could add, we could play – and it was loads of fun!! I suppose it wouldn’t have been so scandalous if we hadn’t been playing Black Jack!!

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  4. I remember the day when he passed away, Val. You were posting his progress and his illness regularly, and suddenly there was this post about him being no more. Even though we all expected it, it was a shock nevertheless. How I had ached for you then, as I did today, reading Joyce’s post on facebook. You were fortunate that you were with him and saw him go. I had no comfort like that. Mine went away, ten thousand miles away from me. Memories linger.
    Love you Val.

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    1. Thank-you Zakiah! It was a tough time and I was fortunate to have so many wonderful friends from Xanga to carry me through. I will always be thankful for your loving advice then and also during my mother’s surgery! Your recommendation of Dr. Motaganahalli was the key. I do believe that saved her life! I’m so sad when I think that you were so far from your parents and couldn’t be there at the end. Love you back Zakiah!

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  5. Our parents never leave…they are still here, with us…in our hearts, in our memories. My dad is also in a better world, but I like to believe that he’s looking at me every day 🙂

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes we are the products of our parents (for better or worse). I have often heard my mother’s voice coming out of my mouth! My father is still with me and I believe he still watches over me and the family…

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    1. I’m glad this resonated with you. I’m excited to find another person who can’t whistle!! Yay! My grandmother tried and tried to teach me. I worked so hard but it never happened. I wanted to learn how to snap my fingers too. I worked on that from 1st grade to 10th grade when I finally achieved a snap! I went around snapping my fingers for a couple days just because I could.

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