Friday, June 4, 2010

Eugene M. Baker: 1923 - 2010

And so we gather from all directions tomorrow to bid farewell to my Dad. A WWII veteran with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the US Army Air Force, 493rd who was an honorable American; a hard working salesman who provided well for his family; a man who taught and instilled a work ethic in his children and grandchildren; a husband who loved his wife and considered her a living angel. He was a man who earned respect from those he met because he was honest and true to his values and principles.

We are all on this Earth for various reasons. But we all share something in common: The need and goal of helping guide each other through this endeavor called life. We do it with varying degrees of success or failure. Ultimately we cannot save each other from our final moment on Earth. Sometimes we feel we cannot save our loved ones from suffering and pain, hard as we may try.

Perhaps that is a part of what makes us grieve. It makes us stop our normal routines and look inward to what's truly important in life: Living our lives, as encouraged by my minister Douglas B. Finch, in the spirit of kindness, and with an attitude of love.

I love my Dad. But holding his arm, and caressing his forehead as his last breath shattered silence, none of us could keep him from leaving.

There was a lesson in that moment:
I have so very much left to learn.

Rick B. Baker
June 5, 2010
Amarillo, Texas

on our shoulders

tell me God did we
gift our compassion -

his final breath on our
shoulders -

that last second
an eternal

water on water

and the sun did rise
to warm the clouds;

a soft rain fell to
cool our tears.

I listen to
water on water
flowing through
the grass.

Poems © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo taken by R. Baker June 4, 2010, Shepherd, Texas.


  1. Dear Rick...Your words for your father ring loud with love & pride for the wonderful person he was! I am truly moved by your loss and would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to you & your family. My thoughts & prayers are with you now & tomorrow!

    Kind Regards


  2. i am sorry for your loss...this is a triking thoughts and prayers go with you today...

  3. I have been at such a final leaving and it was a priviledge to hold their hand and caress their brow and then let them go to God
    And your father raised one heck of a compassionate do him proud
    your poems speak volumes of your love and grief
    my deepest condolences Rick

  4. My condolences to you and your family on your loss. I'm sure you take some comfort in having been there with and for him at the end of his earthly life, and that you will be consoled as time goes on by your good memories of the fine man you so eloquently describe.

  5. My deepest condolences for your loss, I can only imagine what it must feel like to lose someone that close to you. Your father sounds like a remarkable, hard-working gentlemen, I'm sure he'll always be with you. This is a very beautiful, and a very dignified post.

  6. Beautiful words -- blessings to you and your family.

  7. browsing, i just realized and found out that your dad was burried on my birthday last year. Nice words for him Rick. You're lucky to have him as your father. And have him for 57 years of your life. I only have 10 years and 2 months...