Sunday, February 15, 2009

Full circle

Cleaning out the house my parents called home for almost four decades feels a bit like a long road trip to visit all of my relatives, my own personal history and the inner recesses of the mind and heart of the two people who gave me life.

There have been more than a few tears along the way.

Also, a few surprises!

Here's one that combines amusement and romance.

I've found hundreds of "love notes" scribbled on paper dinner napkins, mainly from my dad to my mom, stashed in drawers all over their house. Mom returned the favor a few times herself, leaving dad notes in his desk. The notes were written and left for the other, but few seem to have been discarded. Touching, sweet stuff. No surprise they were married over 68 years!

I've also found lots of stuff that relates to me, their only child. Some of it surprising.

I found these toy trucks hidden away in a large plastic container out in their garage. When I discovered them, I was instantly transported back to the magic period between age 6 and about age 10. There is no way to know the number of hours I spent playing with these trucks.

I remember loading them down with toy soldiers and reenacting the fiercest battles of World War II! The red truck had been converted to a Nazi troop transport. The U. S. Army green, of course, carried all American troops.

I remember my best buddy, Eddie Wilson, and I dug a "fox hole" in the vacant lot beside our house. There we fought so many battles, the trucks and our toy soliders always present. My dad, who was beyond meticulous about his yard, never objected to our exploits or to our digging projects.

Rain or shine, I played with these trucks.

Recently, I brought the trucks home to share with my grandchildren.

When Wyatt first saw them, he stopped everything to explore their possibilities. To my delight, he loves the trucks and during a recent visit, we played with them on the living room floor. I have a hunch that Owen will feel the same. Gracie found them curious. She laughed watching us play.

Taking care of my memories and, hopefully, creating more.

Life has a way of coming full circle.



Tim Timmons said...

My dearest brotha', mentor and friend.

I read your post when your mother died. There is no way I would've missed her memorial service. She was a part of everything you were and are - and will become. You were a part of everything she was and is - and ever will be.

And that's just the way she would have it ... and does. Her Wisdom - her passion and determination - none of which were qualities in which she lacked - will burn in your Spirit as an even more constant presence - inspiration and reassurance Larry.

"Go For it - This is your purpose" is generally my bet on what your mom will be hammering you with.

"WHOA BABY! - (Scary thought)


I would've given my right arm to be present - unfortunately it was my left leg with the gangrene. When the surgeon came in to amputate, he reassured, "At least you've got MS - you don't need it anyway." I was on my back for two months. The neat part was getting to poop every day in the bed every day - I never realized what wonderful people nurses aides are.


To the point - I led singing one Sunday at both services. Your mom and dad sat on the same pew near the back on the right that they always sat in. On the song after the sermon, I noticed, that your mom wasn't singing - she was just holding the book against the right side of her chest and looking upward.

I didn't understand then - After reading your e-mail eulogy - now I do.

Hang in - Hang on - Hang ten bro!

Anonymous said...

This is a truly touching entry. As a parent I understand the desire to keep momentos of your child's childhood. My parents did the same for me, and it is very touching to touch such childhood delights. And now the tables have turned: the things your paretns kept, and treasured, now remind you of them - because they bothered to keep them. And now they will be meaningful to your grandchildren. It's all about caring about each other enough for what we've once loved to matter to us now, and to keep passing down the simple joy they bring. A circle indeed.