Sunday, July 10, 2005

In Remembrance

"This is my body, broken for you," Phil said as he led us in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. "Do this, in remembrance."

Phil has been Dad's minister for years. He did my Mom's funeral over 20 years ago (has it really been that long?) and a few years ago he and I did Dad's wedding when he married Step Mother.

Della and Bill were with us in the room while we worshiped. They have been great friends for years and are members of Dad's church.

I've done this countless times -- taking the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper into homes and hospitals. I never really knew what a powerful experience it was to be unable to attend church, and to have the church come to you for worship.

After Phil left, Dad was in a great mood, very talkative. He was filled with memories. He kept talking about one thing after another.

"Remember when you were 5 years old and decided to paint the car?" Yes Dad, how could I forget?

"Remember the time when you were 6 and we went to that fancy restaurant in New Orleans and when the waiter brought out the meal you saw the parsley on the Frence Fries and insisted he take it back to the chef? 'I don't eat grass on my Fries' is what you told him." Yes Dad, got any more embarrassing tales.

"Sure, remember that time..."

So I turned the tables on him.

"Remember when you were in that hotel in Rome, Italy, taking a bath and noticed the button on the wall. You kept pushing it wondering what it was. Then a woman comes in and starts trying to help you out of the tub. You know, you always told us that was a hotel that catered to elderly and the woman was there to help you out of the tub. Are you sure you told that right? Was she really there just to help you out of the tub? Or was this some other sort of hotel?"

"How should I know," Dad said. "It's not like I spoke any Italian. All I know is that she finally got the message that I wanted her to get the hell out!"

"Dad, you remember when we were in Washington DC, and you were visiting Congressman Dorn? I asked you if he could get us into the Naval Observatory so we could look through that telescope."

"Hell yes -- I told you not to dare ask and you asked him anyway."

"It wasn't my fault. He's the one who said as we were leaving, 'if there is anything I can do while you are in DC, don't hesitate to ask.' So I decided to comply with his request."

"You know, that really was a great night. I'll never forget seeing Saturn through that telescope. Man, what a sight!"

And then we sat quietly for a while, as if savoring all the wonderful stories we'd just tasted.

"You know," Dad said finally, "we really have had a great time."

We sure have, I thought, as he closed his eyes and began softly snoring.

We sure have.

5 Comments:

Blogger the reverend mommy said...

John,
Keep writing -- I feel we are on this journey together and I feel the Grace of God alive on the road with us.
Prayers to you tonight. I pray that God gives you strength for this journey and wisdom and peace.

7:51 PM  
Blogger the reverend mommy said...

btw, I have at least two ancestors from Jamestown -- one from early on and one from 1638, who came over on the Globe. Who knows? We could be related (way, way back).

7:56 PM  
Blogger nin said...

nice job.........

8:25 PM  
Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

A beautifully written piece. Be sure to save this and your other posts about your Dad for your children to keep.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous will spotts said...

Very well written.

This is an intensely personal -- but widespread experience. Thank you for writing about it.

3:36 PM  

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