Monday, March 28, 2016

#SOL16: A Son and the Word of God


The New Fire Truck 


I.

When I think of the many ways that Rob loved his son, I am reminded of a line from Cormac McCarthy's The Road. At the beginning of the novel, the father is speaking about his son and says, "He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke."

The word of God. Yes, that is how complete and full Rob's love for Devon was. But now and again I wonder if Devon will really remember his dad.  He is just 17. Will he be able to still hear the sound of his dad's voice? Will he recall the many car trips? Will he recall watching each episode of Stars Wars with him multiple times save the most recent one that his dad could not see? Will he remember how his dad smelled? How he walked? The sound of his laugh? The way he ran his hands through his loose hair gathering the strands into a pony tale? How he looked you in the eyes so directly when you spoke?
My mom and me

What memories will remain after a year?
Ten years?
Forty years?
What will he most remember about his Dad?

II.

On the bureau in our bedroom is a photograph of my mom and me. I am most likely 12, just a few years younger than Devon is now.  When I look at the photo, I realize that I can't recall much of anything from that time--and certainly nothing related to how I was feeling or the way my mom was. That time is quite lost. I'm astounded by what I can't recall. Viewing the image has me wondering how much of the time Dev spent with his dad will he really remember as the decades march by.

4 comments:

  1. after my father was killed we grew up with my grandparents who created a home for us with my mother. My grandpa died when i was 18 and my grandma when I was 22. After all these years My sister and I (both almost and beyond 70!) talk about them and can remember so much of our life with them,their stories of their life in India, their love and caring for us!We both acknowledge their influence on our lives. I close my eyes and can picture them and vividly recall specific episodes. If you have been loved and have loved in childhood and teens I don't think you forget.Your writings and testimony will help keep your husband's memory alive in your son, I am sure.

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    1. Catharine, thank you. That is a comfort to know.

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  2. My father died in 1970 when I was 17. For a long time I thought of him in terms of loss, him not meeting my husband or children, not being there when I needed him but all the while my sense of who he was was developing in the background. I was as if as recent memories faded, he as a whole person began to emerge. This was helped by speaking to people who knew him before I did, his sister, my mother, my brothers. I also loved finding fragments of him, his signature and annotations in a book. I wish the same for your son, and agree with previous commenter that your testimony will be precious in future. There is future beyond the horrible pain of the now.

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    1. Frances, what you write is so insightful, so helpful. I can't thank you enough.

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