Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Since he does not get online, I can post this now.  No one can say that I did not have this done before his birthday!! I am embarassed to say, but for some insane reason, I forget his birthday.  When we were young, we celebrated he and my grandma's together....his was the second of September, and hers was the third.  Some how, at some point...I put them together, and thought his was the 23rd of September.  The harder I try to remember, the more confused I seem to stay.  Then when you add senior moments to the equation...well....I have been a flop....too many years to count!

Did not know what to do for his birthday this year...he is not easy to buy for.  They have almost everything they need, and with the move to a senior's apartment...they are downsizing.  So I did an unusual thing...I asked him.  He asked for one of my special cards....which is just a homemad card....where I morph photos, or copy one of my paintings onto card stock, add a poem, and thanks to the digital age....I have a personal card.

So, I chose a ref photo, my brother had sent a copy of to me....a photo of my great-grandfather's old mule that he used to plow with every year, taken sometime about 1924.  When I enlarged it, I was amazed to realize that there was a shadow on the mule's side...and it was my great-grandfather and his old hat.  So I painted it onto some acrylic paper.

Then I had to decide what to do for the inside...and I remembered the papers I had 'found' when looking for something was a poem that my grandfather, my dad's father, had written in 1977, right before he passed away.  He had never quite finished it., though his ideas and thoughts were there.  So I took a deep breath, and finished it for him, and for my dad.

Hopefully this will be a present that he will be glad to recieve!!


Most every year, there comes the urge
To sort your files and give closets a purge,
To toss un-needed stuff away,
Put things you keep, in good array.
But a year will come, as it has for me,
When you know such sorting, no longer need be,
You know darned well, as you think and discover
You won’t need the items your search will uncover.

As I check my hunting clothes, on the rack,
I feel I should carefully hang some back;
But why not be honest, “You silly old goat,
There’s no use in keep that old hunting coat”.
"Ditch it, or sell it, or give it away,
No sense to keep it another day”…
You know darned well, from the health you’re in
You never can go hunting again.

You bid thing adieu, without remorse,
Sorry to part with some, of course;
But you count the pleasures they brought in the past
And are happy for memories that still last.
Tax forms, audits and such, all in files,
Travel bags, folders and maps showing miles…
You know darned well, as you check them through,
They will never again be of use to you.

Fishing poles and equipment, bobbers and flies,
Shop tools of all sorts, but no projects, no tries,
Gardening tools, fertilizers and such,
The flowers live on, but not with your touch,
You look at the pictures, you’ve taken a lot
Remembering those still with you, those not…
You know darned well you’re not “finished” yet
There are more years to do things, I bet!

Aims, wants, desires, keep changing each year,
And as they pass by, new methods appear
To help to fulfill joys, pleasures or work,
They invent a new gizmo, tactic or quirk;
Less action, more quiet, thoughts of the past
More snoozing through TV, dreams of the past…
You know darned well your descendants and kin,
Will also be living these same dreams again

Switch to other activities, of course
Those things have served their good purpose
Read books, write a letter, and give some advice
Watching the children of children is nice;
Making joys for self and others can
Fill the rest of your life, old man
You know darned well, life will make sense
Maybe be bette, because of your experience.

And when you are gone, your spirit will live
Many lives richer for these things you give
Children grown, with children of their own
Will sit and watch as the grass is mown
Watching grandchildren and knowing
That their short lives are also going
You know darned well, because you’re clever
Not even the Sun stays hot forever.

Written by S.E. Ackley, July 1977,  but unfinished;
With a humble attempt at completion,
by S.J.Richards in August 2009.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!! I hope and pray you have many more! Just as I will always be your little will always be my dad!!!


Editor said...

that was pretty good

Susan said...

Thanks, Rex!! It meant alot to him...not just the painting, but the poem as well. I think I did good for a change!