Monday, September 17, 2012

HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY, DAD (published 9-17-2012; article #65)

Dad would have been 85 years old today. This article is my conversation, with Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Three of the four of us brothers gathered, at the homeplace, for a little while, yesterday afternoon. I'd stopped by the gravesite, on Mom's and your anniversary. Today is a rainy Monday, and I'm here in Johnson City, alone, without my "little Georgie," due to work training. It's almost over, in only eight more days. I feel empty, pensive, and sad.

When “will the circle be unbroken? By and by, Lord, by and by. There’s a better home awaitin’, in the sky, Lord, in the sky.” As a ten-year-old boy, I remember your brothers (my uncles) and you, talking about that song, around the time of Papaw Ferrell’s passing. For some reason, I remember standing in the front yard, at the old Livesay place, near the big walnut tree, by the garden entrance, with that song going through my young mind.

You often kept your thoughts, about your parents, after their deaths, of just seven months apart, to yourself, rarely opening up to us. How did you feel, when you were my age now, after your parents were both gone? You never seemed to meet a stranger, and you could get that Irish dander up, but what about your pensive side? I knew it was there, but I respected your privacy.

Dad, I’d like to sit around the living room talking, after eating one of your good Sunday afternoon dinners, as we used to do, after Mom passed. Well, I’d like to sit around, at the homeplace, with both sets of grandparents, Mom, us four boys, the next generation of young ‘uns, and you. Wouldn’t that be something, for Granny and Papaw Wood and Granny and Papaw Ferrell, to see the next generation?

For now, I’ll let that thought comfort me. I’ll reminisce. Maybe I’ll have my upbeat spunk back tomorrow. Until then, may God grant the whole Ferrell clan a wonderful, beyond imaginably joyful great reunion day, up there, where Mom, your all’s parents, so many others, and you are already “waiting,” in everlasting celebration!