not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 9, 2013

One Year

Me, Mom and Dad on our Sumner Ave in Strathmere.

My tapas have been strong, and I have stayed committed to this diet through and through. But yesterday I had to break it for one ice cold Guinness and toast to my Dad...on his beach, with his beer, with his Wife, surrounded by his friends. It tasted bittersweet.  
Feel no guilt in laughter, he’d know how much you care. Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to. He’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you, a word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here,
And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

Dad, In Ireland, enjoying "mothers milk".

" life can only be understood looking backwards, 
but must be lived looking forward".

By no strange chance, I have had encounters and interactions with several powerful and amazing women this week who also lost their fathers (when they were about my age). What I've taken away from all of these conversations is that I really owe it all to him....not only did he love me and make me who I am while he was here, but through his passing I have gone through a transformation that would not have taken place otherwise - a transformation that has empowered and enlightened me beyond my expectations. We all agreed that we would have our fathers back in a heartbeat if we could, but looking back - there is nothing but gratitude because that day forever changed the direction ahead.  So, it's been a rough few days, and an emotional year - but looking back - I understand that everything happens as it should, and now I'm just living life looking forward. Life is beautiful, and I feel so grateful for all of It's blessings. Today I woke up feeling grateful that Paul Callahan was my Dad, which surprised me, because I thought that my first emotion would have been one of sadness that he was gone. And so I raise my pint of Guinness to a great man, he forever lives in my heart.

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my own familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral (1847 – 1918)

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