I sat on the front porch yesterday as the sun was going down and the trees cast long shadows on the ground. There was a breeze blowing the leaves creating a rustle as if someone were passing through. The birds were chirping, heralding the ending of the day as the crickets and frogs joined in.
There was contentment in moment as I felt you sitting beside me once again. We were back on that Georgia mountain you loved so well, sitting on the front porch watching the firefly’s come out as the Bob White’s called out and sad sound of the whip-poor-will answered back.
Your eyes were twinkling as you told a story as only you could, with your unique expressions that were always so descriptive. Memories of conversations and dulcimer playing arise, happier times, when life was simpler.
Memorial day is a day we set aside to remember those who have given their lives for our country. This year, I can not help but remember those who, like you, stayed home and made sure they had a country to come home to.
You raised two daughters while Grandaddy served in the Navy during WWII. Your stories of how you and your sister Sybil got by made it sound more like an adventure than a struggle. Then again, you almost always found a silver lining and turned it into gold.
Ever the lady, you got courtesy and respect wherever you went. Your warmth and genuine interest in people gained you many friends. Sadly you outlived all your siblings and friends, making your last few years lonelier than they should have been.
But you kept going, kept finding a reason to get up every morning. You always had something you wanted to do around the house or something new to make or a new recipe to try. You never gave up. Death had to sneak up on you in your sleep because that was the only way to catch you.
I thought it might get easier after the funeral, that the pain of loss would ease a bit. But at odd moments memories kept surfacing. I could get nothing done.
I gave up and went outside, called by memories I could not stop. I sat down in the rocking chair and within moments I knew you were there. You drew me down the path of memories then we returned to the present and I finally understood.
I could be with you again anytime, for you would be with me on any porch I ever sit on. And if I listen closely, I can hear you laughing as you tell another story.