Remembering him today

Dad carrying me on his shoulders0001Today is the anniversary of my Dad’s death. He died Oct. 18, 1990 when I was a Fulbright teacher in Neresheim, Germany with our two young children along.  According to his wishes one month earlier in a phone conversation,  I did not return to the US for his funeral but had a memorial Mass in Neresheim which was celebrated on World Sunday.  The priest had put a large poster on a stand in the front of the altar.  He had sketched the outlines of the US and of Germany and asked our son to show where he lived in the US and where his grandfather had died in Colorado.  To make the Mass more meaningful for our children,  the congregation recited the Lord’s Prayer in both English and in German and everyone sang Amazing Grace in English.

When I got news of my Dad’s death, I went to a tiny chapel outside Neresheim and sang Amazing Grace for my father with my two children along.  As we left, I noticed a man who had come inside.   I told him in German that my father had just died and that I hoped I had not disturbed his praying with my singing.  It was then that the man related the story that his wife had died on Oct. 18 and that he celebrated her by coming to this chapel.  He thanked me for singing, and I wished him all the best as we left.  I do believe angels brought us together on this day.  So, as I remember my father, I will include two poems from my book about him.

Just died

Got the news
He died.

Didn’t wait
For me to return.
Grief and sadness.

Sang Amazing Grace
In the tiny German chapel
In English.

And thought of
My father
With loving sadness.

This next poem came to me as I walked the local high school track before work on a frosty Fall morning. Thank you for being, Dad. I love you.

Frozen Silence

Frost this morning
On the track.
Hides my tears.

Remembering him
This November morning.
Gone some time now.

Miss him in this
Frozen Silence.

This entry was posted in faith, family, family stories, funeral Mass, Nostalgia, parents, People, Teaching in Germany and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Remembering him today

  1. Tom says:

    Beautiful and sorrowful. I remember him after the nail incident in Colorado. He’s smiling from above.


    • That incident is also in the book. He was madder than a hornet at the roofers for dropping nails in the lawn. I still see you pulling off your flip flop with the nail embedded in it. Grandpa is indeed smiling from above and still guiding all of us. He was a good man.


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