The curtains have been mostly drawn here at WIST the last couple of weeks. I haven’t given up on the project, but I likely won’t be posting much for several days more.
Three weeks ago my father was enrolled in hospice care. He didn’t have a progressive terminal disease so much as his body just wore out after 91 years. Nimue and I have been going back and forth between our home in Georgia and Mom and Dad’s in East Tennessee, taking turns with my siblings and their spouses as we’ve helped Mom with Dad’s care.
Yesterday morning, in the thin hours before dawn, he left this life.
What I shed today is about letting go … can there be any greater? WIST is also about gaining something. There’s gain, I’m learning, in every release.
Sometime on Saturday or Sunday, Nimue thought she heard Dad murmur, “It’s time to go back to the beginning and start again.”
Back when they were still young men, U2 wrote a song for a funeral of a friend. In it Bono sings, “You run like a river to the sea.” I thought of that yesterday as I returned to my parent’s home that sits by an old mill dam on Jockey Creek. It flows on to Big Limestone Creek, which joins the Nolichucky River, which drains into the French Broad. The French Broad conflows with the Holston to form the Tennessee. That long waterway touches four states before it finally empties into the Ohio. The generous Ohio gives its waters to the mighty Mississippi.
Does a drop of water know where it’s going when it falls over the dam? Does it dream of, at long last, reaching la Mer?
Bye, Dad. I hope to see you when I come to my time of letting go of the limits of temporality. Till then, though we commend your spirit to God, we keep your life in the salty waters of our memories and love.
Oh, great ocean
Oh, great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea
―U2, “One Tree Hill”