Two Parents

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The best a son can hope for, the best a son can wish for, is to have two parents.

Two parents that say I DO, then do.
Two parents that promise to stick through thick and thin, then do.
Two parents that stick through better and worse.
Two parents that stick through richer and poorer.
Two parents that stick through sickness and sicker.
Two parents that take death to rip them apart.

Two parents that make tough decisions to forgo jewels and riches and instead send their son wherever is necessary to straighten his feet, straighten his teeth, straighten his head so he can have a chance at walking straight and smiling through his own tough decisions.

Two parents that taught about freedom by giving a son what seemed like an ocean to explore. First just within sight of the dock. A couple of summers later as far as Jim’s Landing. Then as far as he dared to go.

Two parents that had the patience not to ask why the boat gas tank that was filled yesterday morning needs to be refilled again today.

Ten summers, a thousand sunsets, a half century of unforgotten memories.

Two parents whose unspecific and unspoken wishes lead to a unanimous decision among those left behind as to where their life was the most peaceful, the most fulfilling, and their time best spent.

Today was my day of reminiscing. Including catching up with childhood friends I haven’t seen in thirty years. And closing some chapters of my own 51 years. Thank you John, Mike, Mark, Christopher, Teressa, and Liz for being a part of my Friday.

A journey that began 19 days short of 54 years ago at a little mountain church in Western North Carolina ended today with one final sunset cruise around the lake.

To my parents, Allen and Lillian, here’s to your next thousand sunsets together.

Your son, Jon

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Two Parents

  1. Charlie Reilly

    Beautifully expressed, Jon. I had not realized you still had your blog going, but I guess I mistook long stretches of quiet a few years ago as and end of the writing.

    Today, I saw your post on FB, and I went back to read some postings about Palm Sunday and Easter. I was most saddened to hear of your mother’s horrible journey these past several years.

    I can think of few illnesses that are more wretched, because Alzheimer’s seems to deeply affect not just the victim, but it also turns the victim’s loved ones into victims as well. Watching someone so precious slip into such an unknown void can only be heartbreaking and gut-wrenching, not to mention deliberately, painfully, slow-motion. I can’t begin to understand how devastating it must have been. I am so sorry to learn how much you have suffered right along with your beloved mother. I hope you can retain wonderful memories of the “before-time”, and spend your recollections on those, rather than allow your good memories to be shoved aside by the recent ones.

    Your descriptions of the haunting emptiness of the residence are both eloquent and deeply troubling. You seem to have somehow put into words much of the quiet horror such an existence surely is.

    I can offer little in the way of solace, my friend, but do know that you and Liz will always be in my prayers. I look forward to seeing you around these parts one of these days when your travels send you this way.

    Peace…

    Charlie

    • Charlie

      2013 has certainly been a year for life introspection and reflection.

      Thank you so much for your unbelievably kind words.

      I still remember the day approximately 25 years ago when you grabbed me with the firm grip of a Marine, got in my face like a drill instructor, and shook me violently while yelling “NEVER GO BACK, DON’T YOU EVER GO BACK.” My life would have been far different without your advice. Thank you!

  2. bkinder

    ThANKS. Beautiful thoughts. We miss you folks. Looks like beautiful church.

    Bud and Barbara

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