Precious Moments

May 14, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Poetry | 2 Comments
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DSC_0030You might ask why I am posting a poem about my grandfather on a blog about Barton and I & our relationship. My grandfather never questioned the love between Barton and I or how we would manage in our lives. It’s always important to take the time to remember those who have been such an integral part in supporting us in our relationship. When I spoke with my father, he reminded me to cherish the moments with Barton and to cherish the moments of each day.  

Precious Moments
          ~In memory of my grandfather, Rev. Duncan Hunter

You know,
for many years I thought you were a stubborn man,
hard, chocking down your emotions.
Once you shared glimpses of yourself,
gentleness and compassion
spilled over.

After finding mom still and ashen blue,
I stood in the middle of the staircase
listening to your sobs over the newspaper clipping and Frosted cornflakes,
tears streaming down my face, you wiped yours away
for I had lost a mother and you had lost a daughter
and we shared this unspeakable bond.

Spring storms blew between our houses,
only one mile apart,
and when the lights would go out,
I would drive over with a flashlight-
just in time since the wet match could not have lit the tiny tapered wick.

 You would share glimpses of your past,
a comment here or there,
the march in Selma, the burning crosses, the danger you endured.
I heard stories from mom, but from you,
I would only get a hushed inkling
of the work and service that led to so many strides.
I searched for stories, grasping to know my family,
but to no avail,
they were lost in the wind.
I learned about your strength when I traveled to Australia,
a white girl in my face,
cussing me out about those filthy Abos.

Mom blessed our wedding from above,
You blessed our wedding from the pulpit,
and your blessing of love echoed
through the years.
Even recently,
adamant to venture through the nursing home halls
to hold Barton’s hands,
you blessed us with your words, bright eyes and smile.

 And you showed your love for grandmom,
sitting on the hospital bed beside her,
lightly patting her on the knee, on the face,
whispering the most endearing words. 

When Barton and I moved out of state,
knowing that opportunities lay in another place
you and I were both heart broken.
Though you gave me a good challenge
deciphering your consistent words
on the phone,
“I’m getting along today. How are you?”
Our definitions of fine varied from week to week.

You shared Mother Teresa’s dark night of the soul,
a humbled life of service.
Even when the house was dark and cold, you would drive
five miles to the church,
your dedication to the work of God
surpassing all human expectations.
The box of food for those in need always in the
trunk of your car.

 We sat beside you in the pew last Easter,
golden crosses gleaming through white lilies.
This was the first time you took off your robes,|
You held my hand and tapped your watch:
his sermon was taking way too long.

 And Barton even caught you in the act
one night when I got up from dinner to refill a glass of water.
Barton watched you scoot one chicken finger
from the edge of your plate onto mine,
just so you wouldn’t have to eat it.
We laughed about the chicken finger incident
the entire way home. 

You were ninety-one and tired,
ready to go home
but not ready leave grandmom behind.
She will follow you
to the light of our precious God now that you have gone ahead,
preparing the way for her.

 Why, then, am I still sad:
I will miss our inside secrets,
the ones just between us,
a grandfather and his granddaughter,
and will remember to cherish the moments
of each day.

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