Memento Mori

Timberlake 027

Memento Mori

I have not forgotten you,
Though you’ve been gone now more than three years.
I visit your grave and see your purple flowers
On the bushes and lilac that we planted,
And remember how much you loved that color.

I have not forgotten to go and talk with you at your spot,
And say a prayer, longing to see you once more.
Yes, I know it will happen some day,
But in the meanwhile I miss your hugs
And the days we sang in the choir together.

I have not forgotten your way with words.
In fact, I went through your notebooks and diaries
And discovered you were a poet, just like me.
I hoped you would be pleased when I published a little collection
Of the poems of the ‘Untamed Spark’.

I have not forgotten the day you were born,
The Scripture for the day said–‘I will multiply your kindred’
And so I stayed dressed all night
And was there in the room when you
came into this world the baby with all that hair.

I have not forgotten all the good times,
How you giggled when I tickled you
And then in exasperation you’d exclaim—- DAD!!
Meaning stop!
But clearly you were enjoying the attention.

I have not forgotten all those times at Cherry Grove
When we jumped the waves together, or
You jumped off my shoulders over a wave,
Or when finally you rode your first wave,
Body surfing to the shore.

I have not forgotten how you trembled as you held my arm
And we walked down the aisle together
The day you got married in First Church,
And I gave you away.
Some days I can see you in that dress in my dreams.

I have not forgotten how you loved books and music and sports,
Just like your old Dad.
It meant a lot to me when you put on the Carolina gear,
Even though it was just my school
And we cheered so loud for my Tar Heels.

I have not forgotten to tell you again how proud I was of you,
When you graduated from college, and from grad school
And got that great job.
You probably know that your boss came to pay his respects,
And so did so many of your friends, for you were greatly loved.

I have not forgotten to honor you, as I started a scholarship in your name.
It supports women struggling to get their doctoral degrees,
So they can teach for the Lord.
I knew that would make you smile,
Which is the main reason I did it.

I remember I sang to you at bedtime every night
And when you lay there in that box,
One last time I sang ‘You are my sunshine’
And said ‘night, night’,
And then you were gone, not sleeping but RIP.

Remembering is bittersweet,
But forgetting will never happen,
As you are etched in our hearts
As our first born—
Offered back up to the One who loaned you to us
August 14th, 1979.

Love,

Your Dad