A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Things I Like

Rick was writing what I called "his book" and he called his "observations". He said if anyone ever wanted to know what he really thought they could read it when he was gone. He never shared it with me, just let me know where it was. I'm still going through it and some of it I won't ever share and some will offend some people, I imagine, since he was often more honest than people like. Today he is my guest blogger with the following words he wrote.

Things I like:

I have always liked the evening more than the morning. It is my favorite time of day because it has represented to me relief from the events of the day. The sunrise is a sign that work is about to begin.

I like to smell and taste a fresh peach in the summer. 

I like the taste of a home grown tomato in the summer.

I like to see my children and grandchildren smile.

I like to sip good whiskey at the end of a long day.

I like to get out of my vehicle after a very long drive.

I like to smell the air in the Texas Hill Country.

I like to look at the stars on a cool night at our ranch.  

I like a garden.

I like sitting around a camp fire with good company. 

I like being inside our cabin on a cold and wet winter night.

I like a Texas Hill Country river. 

I like the anticipation of and the beginning of fall and spring.  

I like observing nature.

I like doing things with Sue.

I like looking into Sue’s eyes.

And the following he wrote about our daughter, who has her birthday today. Happy birthday, Sari, with love, from Dad.

She is strong willed, a reader and writer thanks to her mother. She is now a mother as well. She is a lot stronger than she thinks she is. I wish I had spent more time with her. I’m proud of her!

So tonight if you're able, go sit around a campfire or by the fireplace and sip some whiskey. And think about those both here still and those gone from us, the ones you love and the ones that love you, the smiles of your children and grandchildren. It's gonna be a cold and wet winter night here so I'll be inside our cabin. Sipping whiskey and hoping that 2015 is kinder to us than 2014 was.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Since You Went Away

Rickie is home to stay now but it's not the way we wanted, the way we planned, the way we spent years preparing for. He had a heart attack two days before Thanksgiving and he didn't survive. And just that quick, my world crumbled.

I know in my heart that the reason it hurts so much is because I loved him so much but I take little comfort in that.

Hayes Carll says " darlin', don't you cry tonight, the moon is full and the world is right. I've loved more than my share, I took the pain and called it fair."

But the world isn't right and I don't call it fair.

I try to take comfort in the fact that he was here, the place he loved, and that I was with him. That he was doing what he loved. That he had been having a great week with family. But I take little comfort in that.

I know one day I will find comfort in these things. I know from conversations we've had and from our shared outlook on life that we would both rather go quickly than to linger with the pain of a destroyed body or mind, as have some of those we loved. But we didn't want it yet. We wanted more time. More time together here at the ranch. More time with the kids. More time with the grandkids. Just a little more time.

Having been so often alone here, waiting on the day two months from now when Rickie would retire and join me, I can sometimes pretend I'm still waiting. That it's just not his weekend to come out and he'll be here soon.

Then at other times I can't breath and I just want to lie down and stay there until I can go wherever Rickie went.

But I can't. He left things undone that I need to do, things he wanted done out here that we hadn't finished. And there's the littlest ranch hand that needs me to teach him the things I can and to tell him about his Pampaw. He's going to have to depend on his parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins to help him learn the ways of wildlife, longhorns, canoeing, and ranch chores. He had already suffered the loss of his grandmother Miriam to cancer this year, too young at 57 to leave us. He needs everyone that is left. We all do.

A few days before "the moment of impact" (as my friend Deb, who has suffered an identical loss this year, referred to it) Rickie and I stood on the front porch watching the deer in the field. One of the hunters had made a shot and got his deer. All the other deer had scattered from where they were feeding but in a matter of minutes came back. I remarked on how fast they returned after the death of one of their own, how peaceful it looked. He said, yes, a hole is left but the others quickly circle around to fill it and life goes on.

We've been left with a hole that can't be filled but our family and friends quickly circled around us. Life goes on and we have to find that way to go on and do what we've been left to do. 

Life demands a price for happiness and that price is a broken heart when the road ends. I'm grateful for what Rickie and I shared; I do realize some people never have that. Maybe one day what we had won't be overshadowed by what we lost. 

Seems like to me the stars don't shine as bright..........

Since You Went Away by Kris Delmhorst