This series unveils epiphanies that shake a soul as much as ease a shattered heart. It proves it’s never too late to learn even when we think we’ve learned it all. This is a personal story of perplexing circumstances and the lessons learned in digesting its incomprehensible tragedy.
Retrospection weighs heavily with age. If not so for everyone, then either I need to know their secret or they need to know mine.
Purely by happenstance it’s a year to the day since I’d last posted. Given bouts of ill health, I’ve been making practical decisions like securing a grave and marker. I’ll rest back in the hometown between Dad and baby sister, both frequent subjects of earlier writings.
Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children is their fathers. [Proverbs 17:6]
Working through burial paperwork, it was odd to realize that Dad bought the plots when I was five and my sister was on the cusp of being born. Dad would’ve been your age now, myself the age of your little one. That brings generations closer in a more relatable way, imagining him young and not so unlike yourself. That was also when Dad & Mom changed my given name. I remember those days so vividly, with many visions of Dad in his signature khaki casual wear.
Dad kept a picture on the wall of his older brothers and himself circa 1930. It was professional for the day and then you were about five or six (again, Dad’s age in the photograph). You looked so much like him it was striking, everyone commented. You both were amazingly adorable looking with your coy smiles, big eyes hiding a twinge of orneriness and heads of curly dark hair.
I became a genealogy buff, so regardless where my body ends-up I wanted a grave marker. Dad’s line descends from England, from Daniel Boone’s aunt. Daniel is the renown 1700s American frontiersman. He was well known back in my day when schools taught proud American history. Your generation knew little of him. Sigh.
As most writers, I’ve spent a lot of this last year contemplating impressions of life, trying to determine whether I have any “words of wisdom” to leave for you. I guess we all want some insight that would be helpful to those we love … hoping we can help their lives by virtue of learning from ours. Living so long and the mere desire to do that seems like it ought to reap some fruit. If not, oh well. I tried. We can only try. So this is my “Wisdom Quest.”
This “Letters to a Grandchild” series describes profound lessons that only revealed themselves in the last few years. They are epiphanies that shook my soul as much as they eased a shattered heart. Despite my experienced years, it proves it’s never too late to learn from life and some of the most poignant lessons come late in it, just when we think we’ve learned all there is to know. The telling of this story unveils a perplexing set of real-time circumstances that I still struggle to accept.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. [Proverbs 4:23]
Until recently I’ve not been able to reasonably articulate the wounds of battle suffered in reaching these lessons’ understandings. As anyone with heartbreak knows, there are not adequate words to describe that kind of pain. But I know if I cannot get words written on a page then all hope for the truth of my sister’s and my legacy, all hope for putting the aches to rest, is lost.
I may use the “protected” menu option if some of the stories get too personal. I’ve done my best to tell them objectively but they are so emotionally taxing it’s taken this long to get to a reasonable first draft.
These comprise what could easily be a tragic Lifetime movie. The horror plays in my head not unlike it did in real time. The ending is one I instinctively saw coming, regardless that I was determined to defy that logic until everything shattered into unintelligible pieces of gross disguise.
I had to fit the puzzle back together the only way it made sense and the picture that evolved was very different from any I could’ve imagined, nothing like the one that fell apart. Nothing would ever be the same. But the tragedy was necessary to get where I needed to be, to finally live with what really was, to once and for all put to rest life’s unrelenting pain.
The chapters will roll-out as editing and energy permits. My writing-goal used to be working through pain so I understood it. Believing now that I finally do understand it, I hope sharing will open eyes of those who are as naïve as I, before they end up in the same barren, “too late” old-age pit of regret and despair I did. If I can do that for anyone else then sufferings are made worthwhile. I suppose we all want to believe there is a way to make our sufferings worthwhile, to have them benefit someone. Now that is my writing-goal.
Every good and decent person deserves better. If this retrospection benefits someone else, praise God for that. Life is most often not what it seems.
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