Thursday, April 26, 2012

Those early days of love and sadness

In those early days, we were always together.  You folded laundry.  I looked at picture books.  Sometimes you played records.  We liked the Beatles.  I remember them as quiet days.  I remember that you took my hand and we walked to the fire station near our apartment where a fireman slid down the pole from above.

I remember the day that a bumblebee stung me on the elbow.  I was playing on the swing set with Stevie when it stung.  I remember pain and not knowing where it came from, and I wailed, as much out of fear as pain.  You came across the grass and took me in your arms.  The bee was dead and stuck to my elbow by its stinger.  You plucked it away and carried me inside.

Sometimes you sang to me and read me books.  You made pop-tarts.  Even then I loved you because you were kind and gentle.  Not just to me.  To everyone.  You put out milk for the neighbor cat.

It could have been a good home.  You did your part.

But he didn't want it.  He didn't believe in it.  He was always gone.  And when he was not gone, he was cruel.  I feared him because he made you cry.  He was not above hurting me or my brother to hurt you.  I cried to see you cry.  I used to wish I was strong.  So I could stop him.  And I know you know I did my best.  For you and for my little brother.

He thought he had the best of everything.  He thought he could have a home with an obedient wife and good kids and still have girlfriends and go fishing and go hunting while he kept you and us in his three-bedroom prison. 

But we know what he didn't have.  I know what he didn't have.

He didn't have those quiet days, listening to the Beatles and being together.  He didn't have the field day at the fire station.  He didn't have the trust and the faith and the love that we had.  He wasn't part of our little family.  He thought he was.  But he wasn't.

So, why remember now?  Why, you ask?  I suppose because I grieve for that little family that we had.  The family that he spurned and ridiculed.  As if there was something wrong with it.  As if it wasn't true and good.   

Well, you always forgave.  I never have learned how to do that.


Roger Buck said...

Dade, while not wanting to trivialise the real pain you express here - my heart goes out to you - I wish to say once more, you write with real heart, real sincerity.

In an ever more materialistic, capitalist world ever more on auto-pilot, such writing from the soul is a gift to the soul of the world.

I have not been here for a long time. And I feel regret about that.

At the same time, gravely concerned about the plight of the ever more automatic materialistic, capitalist world, I have to focus my energies in areas so different, indeed contrary to yours.

I respect much of your politics here (although I am far more a social conservative these days, though not an economic conservative!) but I have less and less faith that in and of themselves these politics can make much difference.

The only place I have much faith is the direction Ross tried to point you in the end ...

Traditions that lived for centuries e.g. Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, live for centuries because there are springs of life within them.

Radical secularism cuts us from life force and in the withering that results the ever moreautomatic, insincere, materialist, capitalist world ascends.

So clearly Dade, you and I are poles apart on many issues, but I do feel life, heart, sincerity - precious sincerity - issuing forth from a soul who is clearly not on auto-pilot ...

With my warm greetings to you from Liverpool, a four minute walk from the Catholic Church where John Lennon's great great grandfather was married ...

Kevin said...

to roger buck; what a kind note to send, and i agree with evrerything you said; good luck to him and have faith in god. (btw i am an irishman)  so we agree on a level.

Kevin said...

again, i just read it a third time, well written.