Years Pass, Love Remains

Years Pass, Love Remains

dadThirty-two years ago my father transitioned from his physical body. He was in his early forties and had been sick for many years. The memories of him seem distant now, faded like old photographs.

I was a senior at Auburn, my brother still in high school when he died. I remember my grandfather telling me, years later, that he wished he could have gone before daddy because the grief was so terrible. He said even worse than that of losing his spouse…our grandmother…after over 60 years of marriage.

When someone we love leaves, a hole is left in our being. No matter the cause or how long the illness lasts or if it is sudden, losing someone is difficult, it’s painful and we’re left behind trying to make sense of life.

Part 4 Image 14 (2)At my daughter’s wedding this past summer I thought of how my father would have loved seeing Emily and Kevin get married. He never got to meet Emily….or her cousins. Or see me graduate from college.

The morning of my college graduation I woke up before everyone else and felt my father there….strongly. I had no doubt he had come to congratulate me. It was only six months after he had passed.

With Christmas being 15 days after his passing, less than two weeks after his funeral, none of us felt in the spirit; however, mom and my brother came to Auburn, where I lived at the time, and we celebrated the holiday as best we could. It was a difficult Christmas.

In an illness that is lengthy and mysterious and debilitating as was my dad’s, all the attention is placed on on the patient, the one that is sick. And of course that makes sense. But the hero in my father’s struggles was my mother. She managed to work a demanding, stressful job at the post office, put one kid through college and help the other graduate from high school during the worst of dad’s illness. That’s what parents have to do isn’t it? Keep on going for their children.

Part 1 Image 27 (14)We never really talked about his illness and at the time there wasn’t much available as far as family counseling, grief counseling. Each of us did the best we could. My grandfather and other men cared for my father while mom was at work, when he got too sick to be alone. I was at Auburn, Lance in high school. And mom juggled it all.

When I got the call that he had passed, I had just finished my final exams the day before. Mom had gotten new tires on her car, at his request. I supposed he was tending to those last details, exercising what little control he had, remaining in his body until he could slip away peacefully, his mind at ease, his family as prepared as could be.

simonelipscomb (1)I’m not sure I’ve ever thanked my mother for being such a strong force during those years. I am so grateful for her strength and dedication to my father, to our family. So while I think of my father, it’s my mother I want to remember especially today. And thank her for everything she did for us…and continues to do.

3 Replies to “Years Pass, Love Remains”

  1. Beautiful tribute, Simone, to a wonderful life well-lived and ended too soon. Blessings on you, Lona, and all your family as the days come and go in which you miss Wilmer.

  2. What a sweet, sweet and courageous story to share!!! Your mother is a person who I have admired greatly.

  3. Such a beautiful story…& written so well, of course. Thank you for sharing a part of YOU with us, Simone! <3 J

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