Navigating faith, love, and life in the Netherlands

Sunday, November 1, 2015

His, Hers, and Theirs - A Mosaic of Memories

Today, November 1, would have been Mom-Mom's 85th birthday.  She passed away suddenly on December 5, 2014, and Pop-Pop followed quickly on September 4, 2015.  

November 10 was the day we always celebrated Pop-Pop's birthday, so November is very much for me "their" month.  I keep dreaming about them, and more vivid memories come back every so often.

This poem is in honor of them.

His, Hers, and Theirs

His was the hand that I held, when I said goodbye each night, not knowing if he would be alive the next day
His was the arm that hugged me during our first goodbye conversation
His were the shoulders that shook with grief during those first few weeks of her passing
His were the arms that comforted me as I clashed with conflict
His were the eyes watching his great-grandson in May, July, and August
His was the mouth laughing with pleasure at the antics of children, Aunt Sis, or comic strips
His was the back upon which he leaned as he cleaned lawnmower blades and worked in the shed at age 88
His were the unsteady legs with replaced knees that still carried him into the sunshine and fresh air
His was the combed back hair on a head that I never knew as bald
His was the mottled brown skin, turned leathery from decades in the sun
His was the pinky finger, nearly chopped off sometime in my childhood

Hers was the front stained with dinner or cherry juice
Hers were the arms, ready to play baseball in the yard with us in her 60s and 70s
Hers was the mind, able to tell all kinds of old family stories, remember her children's classmates, and make many recipes without consulting a book
Hers were the feet, going to those in need or otherwise rarely standing still
Hers was the hip, broken while helping pack banana boxes of clothes/humanitarian aid at church
Hers were the knees that spent unknown hours in prayer on behalf of many people
Hers were the ears, ready for us to talk and her to listen
Hers was the heart, providing encouragement and love when needed
Hers was the always welcoming hug as you came in the door
Hers were the crooked fingers from arthritis that still took time to dial the phone or write pleasant cards and letters
Hers was the hair, permed then melting in the heat as she "perspired" in the kitchen or garden
Hers were the hands, wet with dishwater, wet on my back as she hugged me

Theirs was the house, filled with love and comfort and warmth
Theirs were the many rooms, ready for guests or family dinners
Theirs was the waterfall, where we could visit and splash
Theirs was the pond, iced over in the winter and later filled with sediment
Theirs were the trees, perfect playgrounds for my brother and I
Theirs was the shed, filled with anything you might need for a tractor or machine
Theirs was the garden, filled with delicious fresh vegetables every year
Theirs was the grape arbor, source of homemade seedless grape jelly
Theirs was the view on the field, often with deer and turkey roaming
Theirs were the hummingbirds, cardinals, mockingbirds, blue jays...all singing their songs
Theirs was the peaceful property, a haven of play and rest

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