Stuff My Father Won’t Tell Me, A Poetic Preface with Commentary
Sturdy Tree of Life, its trunk of broad girth,
A man of strong body, mind and soul, my father is someone you’d want to have on your side in a fight. His real strength, however, lies in his emotional vulnerability. His nature exposes the lie that “real” men don’t ever cry. This glimpse into his soul is and has always been that part of my father I most cherish and will someday miss the most.
Profusion of leaves anew from peaking buds bring …
We benefit and are blessed when he is renewed each additional day. His has been a favored soul. Like the seasons which come, go, and then return, my father is, was and will forever be in my life. His tomorrow is less certain than the day before as the clouds move in.
Resplendency burst forth come season’s spring ...
When a blossom blooms it makes us smile; its perfumed scent renews our hope if flagging. My father’s outlook is contagiously optimistic, he smiles when others frown.
Turn back to reflections of innocent mirth.
Just as a boy needs his father, so fortunate is the grown up son whose joyful memories of his once youthful dad are kept, as if in a sacred book whose pages are tear-stained and in which one finds tissues as bookmarks.
I gaze at his beacon once time ago brightly fierce.
The Creator darkens the world gradually each day toward evening. Just as gradually does the brilliance of a man’s smile fade as he approaches the sunset of his days.
Strength his tower o’er broad horizons seen.
His shoulders slump, his back is bent, his height diminished, he can no longer cast his eyes as far as he once did.
Fade youthful verdancy from which thyself needst wean …
I mustn’t regret the passing of my father’s youth lest I forget he merited to become a “zakein”, a man of advanced years.
dusk dims his light where once the fog it pierced.
The bright, white light of youth becomes the colorful panoply at which our older eyes do marvel.
Violently tosses this storm a gale,
He has lived a healthy life until recently, thank God. The experience of his illness remains foreign to us. We are learning to accept its inevitable destination.
Cleave tightly to thine anchor’s chain ...
My father’s life is in His hands. I place my trust in Him. No man governs in these matters.
lest the tumultuous sea in calmness feign,
Trusting in any man in times of crisis may lead to false expectations and shattered hope.
steer ship’s rudder toward windward sail.
For your own wellness, trust only in Him from Whom the wind blows.
Gaze the firmament for His infinity unknown
I acknowledge His Mastery by looking at His Creation. Wellness and illness are within His province.
Accept thy portion with gladness by night and by day.
I am thankful for his eighty-seven years. May he have many more.
May faith’s compass guide thee, reap that thou may,
As terrible as life can be at times, I remain strong because I know before Whom I stand.
Content thyself with what thou hast sewn.
I am thankful for our many happy years together without worrying about how many more we may yet receive.