Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Tomorrow I will spend Father's Day with my dad.  I don't get to do this every year, so I find it to be most special. It seems that each time we come to visit, I become more reflective and let the memories of times growing up flood my soul making it hard to leave when it becomes time to say goodbye.

I love you Dad!
This time is different as there is change.  My parents are retiring and although you know something is coming and it is in your head, your heart doesn't always catch up at the same time.  

On Friday, we spent the day celebrating my mom.  Her school planned a wonderful celebration of her time as their principal.  I was beaming with pride as my heart and eyes overflowed and glowed as they spoke about how much she has meant to them.  She and my dad got to sit on two chairs like King and Queen.  One woman told a story of how they had recently presented a gift to her and told the story of the how the woman it represented was one who never took the role of a flower that takes center stage. This struck a place in my rang true.  My mom is a strong, passionate leader, yet is always looking to make sure others are cared for, loved, happy, shining and being the best they can be.  She always has done that for us.  She will make sure we have what we need to shine, and be there cheering us on.  It was pure joy to be there as she was center stage, the one shining in the spotlight, the one being loved so much.  I wish I was strong enough to have said how much she means to me in front of all those people. Tonight as I read stories to Ellie at bedtime, I could barely make it through the end of our new one, Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. It was an end of the year gift that Ellie received from her teachers. Each time I read it I just marvel at the joy and play and the end gets me every time, much like good ol' Tough Boris by Mem Fox. This one is deeper though.  Layered with so many connections. Ellie always comments when you read how they sucked honey from the flowers in spring, just like she does at preschool.

At the bottom of that page it reads, "And so it went. The seasons changed, and the years went by, Roxaboxen was always there."  You turn the page and it gets even harder to read. Especially when you are in the midst of helping pack up precious memories and prepare as your heart catches up to your head and you realize that change is coming. 

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your ONE wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

I think about my parents as I have spent time today exploring their life's collections and treasures as they pack them and organize them.  My brother and I laughed and joked. Grandparents were spoken of, stories were shared, and my heart feels full. I love hearing about our wild and precious life and daydream of what's to come. My heart also feels a bit sad, just as it did when they moved from Heathcliff Drive and New York. Just like in Roxaboxen, the kids grow tall and move away, and "you might think that was the end of Roxaboxen - but oh, no."  They don't forget.  Memories live on in their hearts and in their stories and in the treasures still there. 

It's like my dad always shows us that no one will forget, because we will tell stories and hold onto the memories with the special treasures we hold so dear. Today, as I touched the delicate crocheted pieces my grandmother made, I thought about her and heard her voice. 

Even though our next set of memories together may not be made in this home, the ones we've made here will remain in our hearts and in our stories. I love you Dad.  Happy Father's Day!  Thanks for marrying my wonderful mother and bringing Chris and I into your "wild and precious life!"  

I love you Mom!