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
on our shoulders
tell me God did we
gift our compassion -
his final breath on our
that last second
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
Poems © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2010 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo taken by R. Baker June 4, 2010, Shepherd, Texas.