What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

run to the sea

on December 16, 2014

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.”

20141216-dlj-DSC_8071-eBack 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. And the misi-ziibi, the “Great River,” goes to the Gulf of Mexico … the sea.

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”


7 responses to “run to the sea

  1. Mom says:

    Thank you for this…

  2. Having lost my own dad earlier this year, I feel for you.
    I haven’t cried much because it felt as if it was his time to go, but this post has brought tears to my eyes.
    I hope you find solace in happy memories of your dad, as I have with mine… of remembering the odd things, the funny things, the seemingly inconsequential things and sharing all these with your family.
    Much love xxx

    • revdarkwater says:

      Oh, thank you for your kind comment! Indeed we are laughing, much, and stories are tripping over one another in eagerness to be told. (And I had no idea we’d collectively taken so many photographs!)
      Love returned ooo

  3. Mark says:

    My sincerest condolences to you, your mother, and your family. Your words here are a beautiful tribute to your father, and a tender expression of loss, love, and letting go. I’ll be sure to share this with my wife–I know your words will be a comfort to her as well.

  4. Anne Lene says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, my condolences to you all. You write beutifully here, and I notice It brings thought to my dad passing away, not even two year ago, and like with “the snails of happiness” it brings tears to my eyes. I feel for you. Just remeber, you will always keep your dad close with you, in your heart. Big hug…

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