Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sunset

Sunset
© Teresa ~ Razzamadazzle



fading sun was harsh on his eyes 
like flint stones on weary bones, 
searing pain which pills couldn't ease anymore


years of heavy smoking and rich eating
have finally caught up with him, 
toxic waste on breath, darkening shadows


he had called up everyone he knew 
that week, talking at length and joking as if
on a party, masking fear under crinkled eyes 


he  asked for all of his sons to visit him,
without any explanation, and my hubby said,
he was busy at work, maybe some other time 


of course, no one knew that
the next day, after lunch, that it was his last 
unexpectedly embracing death in one beat 


until this day, 24 years later, his last request
still rankles at my hubby's heart,
like a thorn deep and fresh, unfading memory of the sun  






Posted for:   D'verse Poets Pub:   History - A look back on the last days of my father-in-law.  and Real Toads:   Teresa Phogography

55 comments:

  1. ugh...i bet it would...and first he did not know, as you point out..i wish he would have said and made it easier because i imagine you hubby would have done whatever it took to get there....ouch...this one sits heavy on me grace...nicely told....

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    1. He kept it from his family, so no one knew of his medical condition.

      Thanks for the lovely words and visit Brian ~

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  2. That must be a difficult pill to swallow Grace, that your husband didn't get to say a proper goodbye and feels the additional guilt for saying that he was too busy.
    Very deeply touching write. That is a beautiful pic.

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    1. Every anniversary he still recalls those last days ~ Thanks for the visit Bren ~

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  3. Sucks indeed that he didn't come right out and say it, as one never knows unless you help them and don't try to beat around the bush. But that is some peoples way I suppose.

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    1. Yes, he didn't want to burden his family ~ A swift death was what he wanted ~ Thanks Pat

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  4. Wow, so very sad. Love the way you said it, though...

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  5. Yes, things like that can swell into very sore wounds. You describe it perfectly here, Heaven.

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    1. Thank you for the visit Marousia ~

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  7. Yes, absolutely makes sense how that happened, and how it rankles with people. And, of course, they are just a few moments compared to a lifetime, but it is tremendously upsetting to people, especially if they feel that they miss a chance to make things right.

    I was very lucky with my own father, and even then, I felt that I hadn't said everything; though it was unbelievably lucky truly.
    k.

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    1. Thanks for the personal share K ~ I appreciate your lovely comments ~

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  8. Oh, how sad. That must have been so hard on your husband.

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  9. Such a heartbreaking tale. It's so sad to think that your husband is still beating himself up. I do hope he can someday forgive himself.

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  10. Oh, Grace...you capture the story and the emotions so well...nicely done!

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  11. Sadness. The very same pain, in a way, that prompted the phone call sticks in the memory:
    "fading sun was harsh on his eyes
    like flint stones on weary bones,
    searing pain which pills couldn't ease anymore"
    and
    "like a thorn deep and fresh, unfading memory of the sun"
    but the man that the father was:
    ". . . talking at length and joking as if
    on a party, masking fear under crinkled eyes"
    would not have wanted this for his son. I hope that someday he will feel the love of his father and miss him without condemning himself.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your hubby's pain and the discomfort (and probably pain) each anniversary causes you, too.

    You have made beauty of ashes, though. lovely poem to memorialize your shared experience of your father-in-love's step through the door at the end of this life and into the next.

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  13. yes someone I knew used to practice magic and fortune telling
    and i was impatient with the magic of it.
    and she had cancer and it made so much more sense that these
    were the things she practiced to work through the sickness.
    i have always felt i should have been accepting of its value to her.
    i have so much to learn.

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  14. Your hubby's guilt is understandable... but he couldn't have known. I hope he doesn't beat his self up to much about it. It's a very sad situation and you capture it wonderfully.

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  15. This is an object lesson in human relationships: we never know when it will be too late to do what we should have done without question. So sad, this sunset portrait.

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  16. oh my..i can imagine how hard it must be for your husband to not have been there but then...he didn't know.. wish he had told them the reason but guess that would've been difficult for him as well...sad story, well told grace

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  17. Sometimes things are not really in our hands .... sad but that's how the world moves !!!

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  18. Ouch! We have to forgive ourselves, but I can understand how this one would be a hard pill to swallow. Awesome write, Grace. Hits like a fist to the heart.

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  19. Extremely touching.....so powerful...and so well done.......

    Mimi
    Collage Pirate

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  20. Oh, Grace, I can understand how painful this must be for your husband. He didn't know this would be his last chance to see him. He can forgive himself. He knows he loved his father, what was in his heart. You have captured the situation and the feelings so well in this heart-felt poem. I remember the time my elderly aunt was in a nursing home and it was to be her birthday. It was not the most convenient for me to drive 100 miles to 'celebrate' with her; but thankfully I did. She passed away early the next morning. I truly think she WAITED to die until I had visited her. It freed her. (I was a favorite niece.) I will never forget that either. Your husband's father probably also wanted to be free to pass away......after saying good-bye.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Mary ~ I appreciate it ~

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  21. Beautiful share Grace. So many lessons with death and the dying. That experience for your husband is so rich with learning, if he so chooses and healing can take place in his heart if he felt and knew all the possibilities. I don't think anything is ever how it really is on the inside. There's no second guessing the death experience. Hubby did nothing wrong nor was he a bad boy. I hope he can be at peace about it one day.

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    1. Thank you Mary for the visit and lovely words ~ In truth, we don't talk about it anymore because I know it will open up something which I don't know how to handle ~

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  22. Grace, it's heartbreaking.... and the pain never goes away. I spoke to my dad every single day and on the day he passed away I didn't call him. I was flying that night to my son's graduation and our plane was scheduled to arrive at midnight. That morning I didn't call my dad because I knew he would ask me to call him when I arrive and I told him that I don't want to wake him up. Anyhow that evening I got a call from my brother to not get on the plane because my dad passed away. I left the airport and drove to my dad's home where he was on the floor waiting for the funeral home to pick him up. I tell myself all the time that I should have called that day. My husband tells me that I beat myself up without a reason because I don't think of the span of our life when we spoke daily. Sorry about your husband's pain. I understand .

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    1. I am happy that you were there for your father Ayala ~ Please don't beat yourself up about it, as he would have understood ~ Thanks for the personal share dear ~

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  23. It's a pity that many may not realize that 'time' was critical.There were times we put off seeing someone but decided to eventually - only to be told he had passed on, the day before! Well crafted Grace!

    Hank

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    1. Yes, my hubby didn't realize at that time that he needed to see him ~ Thanks for the visit Hank ~

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  24. My gosh dear, this is so heavy. I'm so very sorry for your husband. Thank you for sharing this, in some way, perhaps he might take solace in the fact that others might approach their loved ones differently in reading his story as a lesson. If only he knew, so bitter. Blessings, Grace.

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  25. Very haunting, as i guess it should be. Seems like deep rich sunsets always haunt a past we can't let go of.
    This was a lovely mixture of sweet and tender with the savage raw that is.
    Nicely crafted
    Rick

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  26. Oh, Grace, how awful for your husband to carry this guilt for years. Surely some day he will realize that his father knew he couldn't expect everyone to respond to such a non-specific request.
    A heartbreaking poem, and so well said.
    K

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  27. this is a great metaphor, not to say the searing heat in his lungs after all that smoking

    events cocatenated

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  28. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........ And my vision blurs at those last lines.

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  29. How perfectly told, this tale. The truth and emotion are palpable.

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  30. Oh, very sad for your husband..I can imagine the regret and guilt. Yes, too bad your father-in-law couldn't have been upfront with everyone. I did like; however, that he called all he knew and chatted one last time...keeping his "little" secret.

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  31. This is so poignant, sad. It is not the kind of regret that can be shed easily...if only we knew the impact of our choices in seemingly insignificant things.

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  32. Oh, how sad. Your final line captures the emotion perfectly, beautifully. Thank you.

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  33. How sad, but we can't do or react to what we don't know. My dad died last January. He was up shaving like he did every morning and then he was just gone. A very poignant poem.

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  34. For me, maybe a tad too close to the bone for enjoyment.

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  35. Should have added: beautifully written.

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  36. Such a poignant poem, Grace. The last line is especially moving. Beautifully done.

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  37. Grace, this moved me.. Some folks seem to know their time is near and make those phone calls. My sister was mad at my dad during his last hospital stay and she refused to visit him; I was the only other sister in town and visited daily. She probably still has that guilt.

    Your husband should know this: Just like the Bible says, it's the same with death. No one knows the day or the hour. His dad might have had an inkling, but he could also have lived for years, choking up his lungs like my mother did. Hope your hub has a moment to be grateful, at least, that his dad went a lot faster than my mom, whose dying weeks should have been scored by Puccini. Maybe that will give him perspective? Comfort? Who knows, really?

    Peace, and thanks for a very strong write that obviously brought out a lot for me. Amy

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  38. oh.... his father would never want him to feel such guilt, I'm sure. He was being a good provider, a hard worker... probably qualities his father taught him. Still, it squeezes the ol' heart strings, this poem of yours.

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  39. Very poignant poem and it has touched a lot of readers, so job well done!

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  40. Such a sad, but beautifully written poem.

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~