Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Six Years Gone - Missing Dad

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my father’s death, but September also marks another anniversary. It’s the month in 2010 that I started Mouse Tales Press, named in honor of my father’s childhood nickname for me.

Every year that has passed until now, I’ve had a hard time believing he is gone. Somehow, some time this year, I finally accepted it. Or maybe it has just sunk in that it's real.

My emotions, once raw and close to the surface, now feel buried. I’ve somehow shut them away. But I don’t want to be like that. I want to feel them. I don’t think tears or sadness are a sign of weakness. I think they are a sign of strength.  

Anyway, I sense this is why I’ve struggled with my writing the past couple of months.

Yesterday though, I had some sort of break in that struggle. I started a series of poems that gave me an idea for a handmade poetry/art book. Two of the poems are being sent out on postcards, so I can’t reveal those yet.

Below is a taste of the project that may mean nothing to anyone else. Still, I feel it’s something I have to do.

Photo of shoe in car rear view mirror
Look Carefully and You Will See
Six Years Gone

On the eve of your (death)
anniversary, a lone shoe
follows me down streets, busy
and quiet. I wonder
who lost that shoe. I realize
you have no feet
anymore. Suddenly,
jogging makes me cry.

*****

(I wrote this last night. Today is the anniversary.)

*****

20 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but I think you're right that sadness shows strength, our braveness to feel. Thank you for sharing your poem--it's a very touching piece. (Also, I didn't know about the backstory behind Mouse Tales Press, which is really sweet.)

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I wrote that poem in a moment of emotion. Re-reading it, I wonder if it sounds silly. So I'm glad to hear it isn't too cheesy. (No pun intended - in relation to "Mouse.")
      :-)

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    1. Thank you, Kris. I appreciate your nice words.

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  3. So that's how you came up with Mouse Tales.

    So sorry to hear about your father. Sometimes time dulls the pain a bit but it never really goes away, does it. When you've loved someone dearly, that empty space can never be filled. Sending you a virtual hug.

    And I think you are right. There is strength in tears.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. Yes, time just moves the pain around a bit.

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  4. Beautiful, Linda. I am very close with my own Dad, now 70, and I can only imagine.

    There is much strength in tears. And words. So glad you have found both.

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    1. You are so lucky to still have your dad with you. Thank you, De, for your thoughts and words.

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  5. I like your poem about your dad. Poetry is just the thing for expressing about death and our feelings around death. I'd like
    to hear more about the name of your press.

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    1. Thank you, Sabra. When I was little, I was shy and quiet (still am, actually), so he called me "Mouse." (In an endearing way, of course.)
      We are lucky we have poetry to help channel our feelings, huh?
      Thanks for your support.

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  6. Beautiful Linda. I can relate, as it will soon be the fourth anniversary of losing my dad. xoxoxo

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  7. Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem.
    It's been over 12 years since my mother passed away. For years I would find myself going to my painting studio and not being able to paint at all because I would just break into tears. After years the tears lessened and I was able to paint again and eventually I found myself incorporating material into my artwork that honored and carried on her spirit.

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    1. Great story, Rebecca, and it gives me hope. I think what set me off was seeing him this summer at my mom's house on a home movie. It felt like he was right there with us. And I hadn't watched one since he died. Thank you. xo

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  8. Wonderful poem, Linda. I do understand. It's been more than 28 years since my mother left us to fend for ourselves. Each day since has been like the first in many ways. It's the smell of fresh-baked bread when I wake, though know one is even up. It's the smile that quirks my lips when I see the maple candies that she enjoyed so much.

    I don't believe the feelings ever go away. I think they only find deeper niches in our psyches from which to ambush us when we least expect it.

    I so enjoyed this poem. I wish you a good memory anniversary, my friend.

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    1. Beautifully put, Claudsy. Thank you for sharing your own experience. It helps with perspective. And thank you for the good thoughts.

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  9. I know how you feel. We lost my dad 10 years ago and I still have a hard time believing it. But I tell myself he knows every story I write and smiles. It makes me feel like we're sharing them and helps keep the ideas coming.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your father. What a nice way to look at it! Thank you for visiting.

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  10. You made me go give my daughter a hug.

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    1. Thank you, Shawnte. What a sweet comment. :-)

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